7 Tips for Public Speaking That Can Expand Your Skill Set
Updated July 22, 2022
Effective communication habits, including public speaking skills, are a vital component in any career. Public speaking is a valuable skill that you can practice in both your personal and professional life. Understanding public speaking and why it is important can help you enhance your skill set by improving your communication with others. In this article, we examine why public speaking skills are important and explore tips for public speaking.
Why are public speaking skills important?
Public speaking skills are important for personal and professional life because they allow people to effectively communicate with one another. Improving your public speaking skills can help you become a leader in the workplace and can help you articulate your thoughts and ideas with your family, friends and coworkers.
There are several types of speeches such as:
Informative: Individuals may be speaking in order to share your subject matter with the audience. The primary goal of informative speeches is to strengthen the audience's knowledge and comprehension of the topic of your speech. Informative speeches can take many forms across all career fields including providing research and data findings or developing and presenting innovative ideas to upper-level management.
Motivational: When giving a motivational speech, the speaker's goal is to motivate the audience to action. Motivational speeches require the speaker to demonstrate their passion for the topic of the speech and be able to relay that passion to the audience. Through the motivational speech, the speaker can use their words to galvanize the audience about the topic. For example, a sales manager may give a motivational speech to the sales team at the beginning of each month in order to excite the salespeople to make connections and sell the company's product.
Persuasive: Persuasive speeches require the speaker to use public speaking skills to persuade the audience in one direction or another. When giving a persuasive speech, the speaker exhibits confidence and has experience with and is incredibly skilled in the subject matter. For example, a persuasive speech may involve a sales call with a prospective customer, in which the speaker will need to be prepared for any objections and ready to close the sale.
Tips for public speaking
The following list provides some tips for public speaking:
Choose a style
When drafting a speech, it is important to determine which kind of speech is best suited for your audience and the overall speaking environment. There are different types of speeches for a variety of situations, so choosing the appropriate style of speech can help you set the correct tone and connect with the audience. For example, if you are a member of a marketing team and wish to present market research to upper-level employees, you would likely use an informative speech to relay your findings.
Understand your topic
All types of speeches require the speaker to fully understand the topic of the speech in order to convey that material to the audience. When writing a speech, you can include data and research information to support your statements and validate your claims. If a speaker has a strong understanding of the subject matter, they will likely seem more credible to the audience.
Recognize the audience
As you are writing your speech, it is important to identify the audience. When a speaker can determine the audience's purpose for attending the speech and what they hope to gain from it, the speaker can guide the speech in a direction that keeps the audience connected and engaged. For example, if a salesperson is speaking to a potential customer, they will likely use persuasive language in their sales pitch in order to present information regarding their company's product.
Illustrate your personality
In any type of speech, connecting with the audience is critical to the success of the speech. You can keep the audience interested and engaged by illustrating some aspects of your personality in your speech. Also, depending on the style of speech and the audience, adding some comedic elements or a true story from your life can strengthen your rapport with the audience. For example, if composing a motivational speech, including a relevant personal story from your life helps the audience view you as a person and helps show that you are trustworthy.
A key element of writing a speech is proper organization of the information. When a speech is organized well and flows naturally, the audience is better able to determine the purpose of the speech. Before writing a speech you can arrange all of the topic's information into an outline so that you have a visual overview of what you wish to say. Additionally, an outline can help you structure the flow of the speech in a manner that is best suited to your audience.
As with any type of writing, be sure to proofread your speech for errors. You can also check to make sure that any facts and statistics provided in the speech are accurate and true. Proofreading your speech can help ensure that you are presenting true information to the audience.
You can have family members, friends or a mentor look over your speech and review it for clarity and consistency. Having other people read over your speech can verify that your information is being perceived as you intended. Welcoming and accepting feedback on your writing can help you grow personally and professionally and can help you enhance your skill set.
Be respectful and polite
While writing your speech be sure that your speech falls within any time constraints that you may have. Speaking for longer than your time allows is inconvenient for the audience and demonstrates that you did not plan or practice your speech. Therefore, be respectful of the audience's time and only use the time that has been assigned to you. This may require you to remove certain components of your speech during the writing process, so it is important to prepare beforehand.
Additionally, it is always polite to thank the audience for their time. You can include a simple thank you at the end of your speech.
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