We all remember that moment when we are called upon to introduce ourselves on the first day of college. How about when you were asked to announce something during the school assembly?
These are the moments that give most of us chills, making us being afraid of what to say and how to say it.
Are you going to be going to each member and whisper in their ears?
But being good at public speaking isn’t about being an introvert or extrovert. One, despite their lifestyle, can easily learn to become good at the skill.
Now, you might be wondering that to improve at public speaking, you need to go out and perform in front of an audience.
It is true that public speaking is best learned through practice, however, you can still improve your skills while staying home.
Check your mic and keep reading…
Write your speech and memorize it
The first step you will take before getting on any stage to give a speech is to prepare what you are going to say.
This will help you avoid long awkward pauses as well as the feeling of gathering your thoughts before you speak.
But why create a material when you are not able to speak in front of the audience?
You can’t always rely on simply winging it as you are giving your speech.
Moreover, preparing your material and memorizing is much more about building a habit. Thus, you should do it even when you are staying home.
Speeches are not like having a conversation, well, not entirely at least. Your speech will have an aim and a message behind it. Additionally, it’s best that you don’t look at what you have prepared too often during your speech.
So… build the habit of memorizing important parts of your speech and avoid looking like a rookie when the time comes for you to say something on the stage.
One thing you will notice while preparing your material is that suddenly you will have much more to talk about. That’s because you would have spent time researching what to talk about as well as your facts.
Build your knowledge, prepare a speech, memorize it, and perform without looking at it.
Talk to a wall or a mirror
Speaking of performing, public speaking, as mentioned earlier, is a skill to be learned only by practicing.
The best way to do so is by practicing the speech you’ve prepared in front of a wall or a mirror.
One of the most challenging aspects of public speaking is the faces and emotions of your audience as you are giving your speech.
Practicing in front of a wall for a minimum of two minutes will give you the confidence boost you require before your actual speech. Try going through your entire speech in front of the wall first then move onto a mirror.
While speaking in front of the mirror, keep an eye on your posture, gestures, smile, and facial expressions.
There’s a rule, common amongst many public speakers, called the “3-second rule.” This translates into you giving a minimum of three seconds of eye contact to each person before moving onto the next one.
This keeps the rhythm going and makes your audience feel like you are giving them enough attention.
Practice the 3-second eye rule with your own sets of eyes while looking in the mirror and then move onto an object nearby. Then come back to your eyes again for three seconds all the while giving your speech.
Record yourself talking
Recording your speech and watching it over and over again to spot the room for improvement is one of the best ways to improve your skills.
While practicing in front of a mirror or a wall, hit the play button on your camera. Once you are done, start watching the recording.
After you are done with all the self-judgment, start making a list of everything you can improve upon. Your posture, the nervous tics like touching your hair, and the speech itself.
Make a list of everything and improve upon them during your next session against the wall. Keep on repeating this process until you are confident in your speech.
Watch and imitate other speakers
Well, what can we say… humans have the tendency to adapt and learn from which they watch.
Notice how they stand, speak, move around the stage, and interact with their audience. Try to find the top 3-5 tips or things you can incorporate in your own speech from each video.
Once you are done with watching, try to imitate them while giving your speech or repeat their speech but with a touch of your own personality.
Start counting your “umms”
The biggest problem that everyone faces while speaking in public or even to a stranger is using too many filler words.
We do so to subconsciously signal others that we are having issues collecting our thoughts or having the conversation.
We are not telling you to umm stop using them but like try to maybe uhh minimize their use. Ahh… see how ineffective that line was.
Pay attention to how many times you use words such as: actually, ahh, umm, uhh, like, so, well, etc.
Try to minimize their use in your speech or even while you are talking generally. This will help make your speech much more valuable and filled with important information.
A good tip to minimize the use of such words is to maintain eye contact or speak slowly but clearly.
Your audience is not going anywhere. Take your time and convey your speech clearly.
Present your talk to someone you are living with
Public speaking is a skill that most of us learn only through practice and putting ourselves into those positions.
However, since everyone’s stuck inside their house, one amazing thing you can do to improve your public speaking is to present your speech in front of people you live with.
These can be your parents, siblings, flatmates, etc.
Heck… you can even facetime with your friends and ask them to listen to your speech.
One key thing to remember is that you will be doing this exercise to improve your skills. Thus, it is important to let the people you are going to be performing in front of, know that they need to judge your speech.
Without their feedback and criticism, you won’t be able to grow as a speaker.
So sit your family down on the couch and give your speech before or after dinner.