When we watch politicians, corporate executives, and celebrities on television give speeches to the public, we are more often than not enthralled by their speaking abilities. They seem so comfortable addressing a large audience which leads us to consider our own speaking abilities and whether such talents are developed or innate. Although some people naturally have an easier time speaking in front of others, this skill is most definitely acquired through practice and experience. It can be perfected by anyone with the heart set out to do so.
An essential part of developing any skill is practice. When learning to do anything, it’s necessary to watch other people do it, but you’ll never develop that skill if you never set out to practice yourself. Much like how guitarists can’t learn to play just by watching others play, aspiring public speakers can’t learn to do so just by reading blog posts and watching others speaks. In this regard, practice and experience form the foundation of an effective public speaker. Additionally, practicing speeches and presentations beforehand gives a sense of preparation and allows you to be more at ease when actually giving the presentation.
Understanding the topic you’re about to talk about is crucial for effective presentation. Knowing the information about the topic at hand allows you to be able to deviate from your script without panicking. If you know what you’re talking about, it just comes down to sentence structure and intonation. However, if you’re not familiar with the information you’re presenting, it becomes difficult to give a coherent presentation without sticking 100% to a script. In this sense, becoming familiar with the knowledge in a presentation allows for a smooth delivery, even if it’s not according to a pre-prepared script.
Although this point may seem generic and pointless (“How am I supposed to relax!?”), it’s at least worth a try as it improves public speaking drastically. When you’re speaking and make a slight mistake, chances are nobody cares except you. Even the most professional speakers with years of speaking experience make mistakes, but not many people will notice these slip-ups as they just keep going. It’s essential for you to try doing the same as you tend to see your own mistakes than other people. Try to focus more on the message and content being presented, rather than the small errors in word choice or sentence structure. Additionally, the audience would much rather listen to someone who seems relatable than someone who appears robotic, so try not to read off a script.
Public speaking is a skill that’s developed through experience. No one is born with the ability to give a perfect speech, and as such, we must all start somewhere. Although some may be able to progress faster than others, it’s important to realize that everyone moves at their own pace, and you’ll always get where you’re trying to go if you keep moving forward, regardless of the speed. With that being said, try and have some fun when you’re speaking. Be personal, be motivational, be inspiring.