Why do you need to learn public speaking techniques? Public speaking techniques will help you communicate before an audience.
Your audience may be people in small groups or large groups. There may be hundreds or thousands of people in the audience. Most people dislike giving speeches.
Public speaking anxiety can happen to anyone. Yet, public speaking is a good life skill. Thus, even though it is not a favorite thing to do, you can still try to improve your presentation skills.
Public speaking abilities and presentation skills are also employability skills. Hiring managers and human resource officers look to recruit people who speak well in public.
You must use good public speaking techniques. Engage your audience and have a unique delivery style. You also ensure that your audience understands what you are saying. They must remember the information you are presenting.
Public Speaking Tips – here are 4 tips to speak in public:
- Learn to listen well
- Know your audience
- Understand the purpose of your speech
- Avoid plagiarism
01. The Importance of Listening
You may not associate the importance of listening to a discourse presenter. Since the speaker is the one doing the talking and the audience doing the listening. But presenters must also have good listening habits.
Let’s contrast listening and hearing. Hearing is the ability to perceive sounds. One may realize a sound, but one does not focus on that sound. Listening is giving one’s attention to a sound. It evokes proactive responses to sound, such as taking notice and paying attention.
In public speaking, your audience may know you are speaking. But are they paying attention to what you are saying?
Hearing is an automatic response to sound, but listening is purposeful.
Distractions in your surroundings or your mind can affect your listening abilities. Listening takes effort and requires focus. Good listening skills take practice, time, and effort.
Public speakers must steer part of their concern to listening abilities. During speaking engagements, they want to share information.
To succeed at sharing information during public addresses, the audience must listen. So, on the flip side, presenters need to speak in such a way that their audience listens to them.
Having the ability to listen well could help you in public speaking. By paying attention to others in informal conversation, you can learn to listen.
If you are engaging in a conversation with friends and family, listen attentively to them. Aim to understand what they are saying and how they are saying it. You can learn good speaking abilities from them you can emulate.
Politicians, influencers, and public figures must communicate with the public. You can become a successful public speaker by learning from the example of others. Listen to how others communicate and present.
You can pick up on various communication techniques. For example, listening to how other presenters use illustrations and case studies. What you learn from listening can help you improve your presentation skills.
02. Know Your Audience
When people are comfortable with others, it is easier to have a conversation with them. Being familiar with the person you are speaking to helps you to communicate.
It is during these times that you speak in a natural tone and relaxed manner. You do not feel the knots and butterflies in your stomach when speaking to people you know well.
You can mitigate public speaking phobia if you know your audience. Hence, you must analyze your audience.
Gather socio-economic information about your audience. This procedure applies to the art of public speaking. Isolate and group them demographically. Start with the basics. Analyze their race, age, and gender. You can also consider what is their employment status, education level, and income.
Evaluate them by looking at their psychographic segmentation. Here you look at the personalities, characteristics, and traits relevant to your listeners. You can assess their interests, lifestyles, opinions, and values.
Audience analysis will help you to prepare discourses that apply to them. Your addresses will add value and interest to listeners.
At various intervals during your public address, remember to acknowledge your audience. You can do so at the beginning. Tell them – thank you for attending your speaking engagement. Acknowledging your listeners helps them know you prepared your talk with them in mind.
Your audience analysis and acknowledgment will show personal interest in your listeners. They would know that you want to speak to them. It can motivate them to listen to what you are saying and influence their receptiveness.
If you know your audience, you can communicate in such a way that they would respond to what you are saying.
03. Public Speaking Purposes
There are various types of public speaking. Therefore, you must fully understand the reasons you are giving a public speech.
You must know your topic and what you would like to achieve. Understand the aim of your speech. This is important when communicating in a public setting. You may try to inform or persuade.
- Informative Public Speeches. Good public speakers will help their audience understand a topic. Tell your audience about a specific topic. Your informative speech could be to describe a subject. The purpose of your speech may be to educate your audience about that subject.
- Persuasive Public Speeches. Before a speech, your point of view on a matter and your audience may vary or differ. At the end of your persuasive speech, you want the audience to have the same viewpoint as you. Pay attention to the body language, tone, delivery, and content of your speech. These can be the deciding factors of how good you are as a persuasive public speaker.
- Entertaining Public Speeches. A popular discipline of public speaking is to entertain. A comedian would have to deliver in such a way that causes his audience to laugh. Some public speakers deliver important heft topics, in a humorous way. Know when and whether your speech is for entertainment. Then you would write and deliver it to entertain.
04. Avoid Plagiarism
You must practice ethical public speaking. Being ethical is important in all aspects of life. In everything you do, whether you write or speak, you must avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism is unprincipled, shameful, and embarrassing once caught.
The University of Oxford explains plagiarism as “Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work or ideas as your own, with or without their consent, by incorporating it into your work without full acknowledgment. All published and unpublished material, whether in manuscript, printed or electronic form, is covered under this definition.”
That explanation of plagiarism by the University of Oxford raises hefty assertions. It paints someone who plagiarizes as a thief. This suggests that plagiarizing is stealing.
An individual who relishes doing honest work will not want the label “thief”. In public speaking, you can use someone else’s words or ideas. But during public speaking, attribute those ideas or words to the originator. If it is a quote from a person or book, say so.
By all means, do not rehash someone else’s speech. Remember Melania Trump’s speech debacle, where she allegedly plagiarized Michelle Obama’s speech. Do not fall into such a trap at all. Say NO to plagiarism.
Closing: How to Improve Public Speaking?
Many advocate the benefits of public speaking. Some say you become bolder, and it raises your self-esteem. Public speaking is a discipline that would come in handy in life. It helps you to communicate and express your thoughts to your audience.
The main aim of dispensing a public speaking topic is to inform or persuade the audience. When informing, your speech aims to educate or share your knowledge with others. Whereas in persuading the audience, you want them to believe what you believe.
You can take proactive recommendations to improve your public speaking skills.
- Learn to listen well. Do not be an active speaker only. In various settings, and give others the chance to speak. Listen carefully to what they are saying.
- Know your audience. Before you speak in public, learn about the people you would speak to. Know what are their demographics, likes, dislikes, motivation, and so forth.
- Understand the purpose of your speech. From the onset, know whether your aim would be to inform, persuade, or entertain your audience.
- Avoid plagiarism. Stealing others’ work would label you a thief and hurt your reputation. If you should quote another person’s work, ensure you attribute what you say to the originator.