3 Very Small Ways To Become A Better Speaker

It's all the small things that together can make you become a better speaker
It’s all the small things that together can make you become a better speaker

Image Credit: Freddie Alequin

I don’t mind telling you that I’d like to become a better speaker. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that because of the importance of public speaking you pretty much feel the same way. However, we always face the big challenge – what do we need to do in order to become better? Should we run away for a week in the woods with a speaking guru? Perhaps, but it turns out that there are a number of small things that we can do that will have a big impact on how good of a speaker we become.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

All too often I run into speakers who are not happy. When I talk with them and try to find out what’s up, more often than not what I discover is that somebody has done something that this person feels has wronged them. What they have forgotten is that ultimately, they are the ones who are in control of how they feel and if they are going to feel happy, then it’s going to be all up to them.

Being a speaker is tough work – it truly takes a lot of energy out of all of us. If you choose to be unhappy, then you are going to discover that being unhappy also takes a lot of work. You’ll have less energy to give to your speeches. It’s not worth it so don’t be unhappy. Develop a positive attitude and you’ll be ready to all of the opportunities and challenges that come along with being a speaker.

Did You Remember To Smile Today?

I don’t know about you, but I sure wish that I had the ability to control other people. It just seems like everything would go that much easier because everyone would be doing exactly what I wanted them to do. I don’t have that ability, but I do have the ability to change other people’s moods. All I have to do is to smile at them.

When you smile at someone they really have no choice about what they are going to do next. They are almost forced to smile back at you. When they do this, something happens and all of a sudden they just feel better. What this means is that they now associate you with feeling better. From that association great things can happen. And it all started with just a smile.

Don’t Forget Your Sense Of Humor

There are a lot of serious things that we deal with in this life. However, if we don’t have a sense of humor then when the unexpected happens we are going to be poorly equipped to handle it. If when something happens, you are just going to stand there and look upset, then that is exactly how your audience is going to be feeling.

Instead, what you need to do is to develop the ability to roll with events as they occur. Look at everything that happens to you and find the lighter side of it. I’m not talking about trying to memorize jokes here, rather I’m talking about having the ability to see events as they unfold and to make your audience laugh about being part of it. If you can get good at this, then you’ll be able to keep your audience focused on you even as the unexpected happens.

What All Of This Means For You

When we think about becoming a better speaker, I’m pretty sure that we all picture going off to some military style boot camp where drill sergeants run us through speaking exercises day and night until we can do them in our sleep. Such a place may exist, but it turns out that becoming a better speaker and maximizing the benefits of public speaking is actually much easier to accomplish.

The first thing that we need to understand is that we control our mood – nobody else does. What this means for you is that if you want to be happy, it’s going to be up to you to make it happen, not someone else. Next, we have the ability to influence how other people feel. All we have to do is to smile at them and they’ll smile back at us. This makes everyone feel better. Finally, when you head off to speak, make sure that you take your sense of humor along. We don’t control the world so as things happen, make sure that you and your audience can laugh at them.

When you realize that becoming a better speaker is not only fairly easy to do, but is also in your hands to accomplish, all of sudden this starts to seem like it might be something that you could accomplish. The three things that we’ve discussed are easy to do. Give it a try and see what comes of it!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: What’s the best way to develop a better sense of humor that you can use with your audience?

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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

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