Create More Success In Your Career As A Public Speaker
It’s no secret that
some of the most famous executives got to where they
are because they learned how to speak in public. This is one of the most vital
skills any person can learn if they want to be on the fast track to success. In
fact, in a recent book from TED, they clearly
outlined how many of the presenters on their stage have sped up their success
because of it. So how can you master this skill and use it to your advantage?
What Is Public
Public speaking is
any time you get up in front of an audience and deliver a speech. However, in
today’s digital world, this can be via video on YouTube or Facebook just as
much as it could be in front of a classroom or at a conference. Whether you are
speaking to your classmates and teacher, or to 500 of your peers and
colleagues, learning how to give a memorable presentation is truly an art form.
If you are truly committed
to honing your skills as a public speaker, then we highly recommend you join
our Toastmasters group. In it, you
will learn these nine skills:
1. Public Speaking
speech is one of the hardest things to do for a lot of people. It is weird
going over your own writing and even more awkward watching yourself in a mirror
while you rehearse.
But there are some
great things that you can do before your speech in order to be as prepared as
possible so you can give a great speech when the time comes.
According to many great
leaders who speak on stages, the best thing is to make sure your
note cards or rehearsal material is easy to read and follow. It is really hard
to give a speech from one giant run-on paragraph, as you can easily lose your
place. I recommend breaking your speech up into one liners or “summary points” so
that when you see your notes you can simply grab the information and go.
The next thing is to
practice every part of the speech until you have it right. Sounds pretty basic
right? Well not really, most people actually practice the entire speech all the
way through instead of breaking it down into bite-size pieces of content.
For example, practice
your introduction until you have it down completely. Then practice your first
part of the speech after your introduction — depending on the length of your
speech this could be 30 seconds or 5 minutes. Then, after you get that part, go
back and do the introduction until the end of the first segment, complete that
until you are comfortable then move on until you can do the whole speech
through two times completely with a satisfactory result.
Then you will want to
practice in front of the mirror. Stand in front of a full length mirror (if
possible) and practice your speech, look down at your notes and be conscience
of how long you are taking on each part, how long you can maintain eye contact and
scan the audience, etc. Work on your hand placement and looking relaxed in the
Have you ever been
called upon at the last minute to give a presentation or a talk on something
you’ve been working on, or something for a new client? Well, Toastmasters can
help you think on your feet and be well organized so that this will become easy
for you. In fact, we also invite some of the best public speakers from major
organizations such as Motivational Speakers who also provide mentoring and
insights from leading professional speakers.
There are many ways
you can improve your communication skills. This involves more than just
talking. It also involves shutting up. Communication is a two way conversation.
Many people say, “I have no problem talking”, and those around them are well
aware of that. These people may have a problem letting other people talk. How
many times have you been at a meeting where the person is supposed to speak
only for 5 minutes and 15 minutes later they are still at it? At Toastmasters
you learn how to craft a speech within a specified time frame. However, if you
want more one on one support, you may want to get a coach who can support you.
4. Listening Skills
Listening is a very
important part of communication. It is important to listen well enough so that
you really “hear” what the other person is saying. At our weekly meetings the
Quizmaster tests the listening skills of the group by asking questions about
things that went on during the meeting.
5. Leadership Skills
These skills are
developed as members take on roles such as Toastmaster, Table Topics Master,
Timer, Quizmaster, General Evaluator and others. Each person takes control of
the lectern for their role.
It is important to
learn how to correctly evaluate someone so that they learn about the things
they need to improve while being recognized for the things that they already do
well. If all they hear is criticism, they don’t feel very good about
themselves. Toastmasters teaches the “sandwich technique” for evaluations. Come
to a meeting and find out more.
7. Vocal Variety
Having a different
range in your vocals helps keep your conversations lively and worth listening
to. Have you ever listened to a boring lecture where the person just drones on
and on with no variety or depth to their voice? It’s enough to put you to
sleep. You will learn how to effectively use your voice for the highs and lows
to keep people’s attention.
Your body often
speaks louder than your actual words and people “read” what you are saying by
the way you say it. You can learn how to use gestures and eye contact to keep
the audience watching and listening.
These skills are
developed as you prepare for your roles. If you are providing the word of the
week, you will research the word to find out where it came from and what it
means. If you are giving the Toast, you may want to look up more information on
the weekly theme. If you are giving an Educational Tip, you will want to
research your topic and prepare.