So How Can You Become A Better Public Speaker?

by drjim on May 8, 2018

We can all become better public speakers with just a bit of practice

We can all become better public speakers with just a bit of practice
Image Credit:
Bart Everson

Congratulations on realizing the importance of public speaking and being a public speaker. No matter if you’ve only ever spoken in public once or if you’ve done it a 100 times, we can all become better. Every time that we give a speech, right after we are done we realize that there were things that we could have done differently that would have helped us to do a better job of connecting with our audience. In order to become better public speakers there are things that we need to do, but what are they?

Join Toastmasters

In all honesty, this one should be a no brainer. Just in case there is anyone out there who does not know what Toastmasters is (the name can be a bit confusing), it’s an organization dedicated to helping people become better pubic speakers. If you want to become a better public speaker it sure seems like this is an organization that you should join.

Toastmasters is organized into local clubs. You join a club and then one a week or so you get together with other club members. At the meetings there are opportunities to give formal, practiced speeches and impromptu speeches. All of this is done in a supportive club environment so that when you make a mistake, your fellow club members are there to support you. Toastmasters has been around for a long time so you really should check it out!

Take On A Leadership Role

Outside of work we all belong to a number of different organizations. These can range from professional associations, some sort of personal interest club, or even a management club. These types of groups are always looking for their next set of leaders. When the opportunity comes around next time, you need to raise your hand.

The benefits of taking on a leadership role in one of these organizations can be significant. As a leader, you’ll be tasked with doing such things as running meetings, introducing speakers, and delivering reports. Each one of these activities will provide you with yet another chance to improve your public speaking skills.

Look For Workplace Speaking Roles

The funny thing about public speaking in the workplace is that more often than not everyone desperately wants to avoid doing it. What this means for you is that if you are willing to do the speaking then you’ll be helping someone out and they will then owe you. This is always a good position to be in.

The workplace speaking opportunities can include making a status report at an internal meeting, delivering a paper at an industry conference, or perhaps conducting a “brown bag” lunch time seminar on some topic of interest. The most important thing is that you find the chances to get up in front of yet another audience and practice the art of speaking in public.

Watch Other Speakers

In order to become better public speakers, not only can we give more speeches, but we can also learn from others who are speaking in public. Every time we watch someone give a speech, we have a chance to compare how they speak with the way that we speak. Simply by watching them we can improve our ability to speak in public.

Where things tend to get interesting is when we realize that we will be watching both good speakers and not-so good speakers. Not only can we learn what to do while speaking from the good speakers, but at the same time we can learn what not to do from the bad speakers. Together, all of the speakers that we watch have something important to teach us.

What All Of This Means For You

As good of a public speaker as you are right now, we all know that we can become better. There are always skills and techniques that we can learn that will allow us to do a better job of sharing the benefits of public speaking and connecting with our audience the next time that we give a speech. The challenge that faces us is to find out just exactly how we can go about becoming better.

One of the simplest ways for us to improve our public speaking skills is to seek out and join our local chapter of the Toastmasters organization. This is a club that is dedicated to helping its members become better public speakers. We are all members of different clubs and organizations. These clubs and organizations are always looking for members to step up and take on leadership roles. If we do this it will provide us with an opportunity to do more public speaking at club events. Our workplace is often full of opportunities for us to give speeches. Realizing that nobody else wants to speak up at work may provide you with many opportunities to practice your speaking there. Learning to speak in public can be accomplished by taking the time to watch other speakers. We can learn from both the good speakers and the not-so-good speakers.

The nice thing about public speaking is that it is a skill. This means that if we are willing to work at it, we can become better at doing it. By using the techniques that we’ve discussed, you can improve your ability to speak in public and the next time that you stand up to give a speech, you’ll feel even more confident.

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

Question For You: Toastmasters speeches are generally short (5-7 minutes), do you think that this would be long enough to allow you to improve your speaking?

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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!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

When somebody has been speaking for a while and has mastered the importance of public speaking, it can be hard for them to remember what it was like when they were first starting out. The early days had a lot of challenges in them and one of the biggest was stage fright. The fear of speaking before groups of people is something that comes up every time the experts go out and do a survey of what makes people afraid. As speakers, we need to acknowledge that we do have a sense of dread when we think about speaking in public and then we need to do something about this.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kirsten Holmberg May 8, 2018 at 11:44 am

Great tips! I love Toastmasters and recommend it to my clients with great regularity. Occasionally someone needs a more customized, tailored approach to cultivating the skill of speaking. In those instances, a public speaking coach is a great resource. We can help our clients quickly and effectively because of the one-on-one approach on their timeline.

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drjim May 11, 2018 at 10:21 am

Kristen: you are right on the money. Toastmasters will help to get people comfortable presenting to a group; however, it’s going to take a coach to help them smooth out the remaining rough spots…

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