Effective public speaking today is about delivering valuable content to your listeners in a clear and interesting style. Anyone that is prepared to apply themselves can become a more effective speaker.
To be a successful speaker you need the right combination of speaking skills involving delivery and preparation. Becoming proficient in these skills takes practice and application. Having the right qualities and characteristics will help you immensely to become a truly effective public speaker.
1. Confidence – Confidence comes from believing in what you are saying and being passionate about your subject. Self-confidence is developed by knowing everything you can about your subject and thoroughly preparing and practicing.
When you walk out on the stage or out front of your meeting you must overcome your nerves and deliver your message. By mastering the “shakes” you are half way to being an effective public speaker.
Almost everyone who rises to speak suffers some degree of stage fright. Many distinguished speakers admit to recurring nervousness. They take several deep breaths to restore their composure and cure any palpitations and focus on the valuable message they are about to deliver.
2. Likeability – As a general rule your listeners want to like you. When they do like you it makes delivering your speech easier. Your likeability is helped by smiling and being positive and friendly. An upbeat tone to your voice will attract your listeners. Keep the other person’s point of view in mind when developing your presentation. Take an active interest in what your audience have to say and show that you care about them.
3. Expertise – you need to know your subject thoroughly – read and learn all you can. An audience will quickly sense when you do not know your stuff. By being a recognized as a leader in your field and knowing your subject thoroughly you can be in demand even if you are not considered a first rate speaker.
4. Enthusiasm – you will need to be passionate about your subject. It helps when you really enjoy the topic you are discussing. You speech can be convincing and effective because of your enthusiasm about your subject.
5. Persistence – Persistence and practice will see you steadily improve and become an effective speaker. Take every opportunity to speak in front of an audience. More than any other human activity, public speaking is learned and improved by doing it.
Improving your speaking skills is critical to becoming an effective public speaker. Developing the right characteristics can make this possible. If you do not have all the characteristics and skills now, don’t worry because there are many solutions for this e.g. books, e-books, college courses and speaking organisations such as Toastmasters etc. Take your first step today and open the door to effective public speaking.