Better Public Speaking

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7 Simple Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills

Communication is the highway of building a solid relationship. Without a healthy one, it would be impossible to continually work together and pursue a common goal. This is why companies and organizations pay high regards to establishing a communication system that works well for all their members.

At an individual level, this could mean enhancing your skills in connecting with different people. But while this is a given to many, relating to different personalities has become more difficult than ever. Add it up to the fact that a lot of us right now prefer communicating online. Digitalization has undeniably affected the amount of human interaction we spend at a daily basis.

Good thing is, communication skills can be improved. However, for you to see its effect, commitment has to be practiced. In both oral and written form of communication, the following tips can help you improve this skill.

Practice It Often

They say that practice makes you perfect. Even though it doesn’t, it is still a fact that it helps you improve. Communication is not an exception. To ensure that you keep yourself sharp in conveying information, using it often is the most important way. Talk to people, write journals, or do anything else that allows you to communicate.

Consume Media Items Using The Language

A good example would be to watch movies on the language you are trying to master. Aside from the language itself, exposing yourself to these shows allows you to have an idea on the culture of the speakers as well. Of course, it’s also a great learning tool for honing your accent to help you sound like a native.

Invest Time On More Human Interaction

As we have mentioned, there is a visible increase of youngsters who prefer communicating using social media and other communication methods online. There is nothing wrong with this. However, it is very important to talk with people ‘personally’ so you can practice aligning your facial reactions and gestures while you speak.

Find A Skilled Coach

You can use this to up your language training. By getting a coach, you will get objective comments and practical instructions on what to do to make you a better speaker. Coaches can also be in-charge of devising training activities, quizzes and any drills that will allow you to apply your speaking skills at a constant basis.

Listen To Confident Public Speakers

Anyone who always speaks in front of the public is likely to be a confident speaker himself. They include politicians, reality show hosts, academicians, stars, artists and more. Choose someone you see on television and web or hear from radio and watch them speak.

  • Communication Skills - The 6 Keys Of Powerful Communication
    YouTube Video
    Communication Skills - The 6 Keys Of Powerful Communication
What gestures do they use? How do they make contact with their listeners? You’ll be surprised by the amount of useful information you will get by simply listening to them. Needless to say, be an active viewer and learn from their bearing.

Join Opportunities That Allow You To Speak More

There are several of these around. They could come in symposiums, community gatherings, workshops and more. Take time to participate in these activities and volunteer to speak when opportunity knocks. This could be the perfect avenue to train your confidence in public speaking.

Read More

Last but not the least, read materials using the same language you are mastering. Reading has proven to enhance retention. In fact, there are people who learn better by reading rather than listening. Choose materials you wish to read about and take notes if you want.

There are no shortcuts to learning something. It needs a combined time, effort and commitment on your part to see any progress. Start enhancing your skills in communication using the seven tips we have above!

Author Bio

Raphael Rico Zamora is a Filipino blogger working in an interpretation company Philippines, a professional translation and interpretation company located in the business district of Makati City, Philippines.

Utilizing Body Language in a Speech

Your body language plays an important part in making your speech a perfect one. Normally, the tactics of verbal communication focus a lot on proper mapping of the body language. Body language has its instinctive impact on your speech as it involves non-verbal communication. Body language is all about conveying a message to another person without having an interchange of words. It is calculated that most of the messages that we interchange with each other are through body language.

From 1967 to 1971, Professor Albert Mehrabian, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, UCLA, conducted several studies on nonverbal communication. He discovered that when there is communication on a face-to-face basis, the audience would be able to guess the intention of the speaker accurately 55% of the time from his / her physiology. What’s important here is that the exact percentage is irrelevant. The crucial part is that most face-to-face communication is nonverbal.

Therefore, you must be aware of how to use your body language in your speech. For expressive people, body language is a very strong point in their speech and for the docile ones, it is not. So, if you do not have it as your strength, it would be a good idea to learn how to make it your strength. Flaunting your physiology appropriately will augment your speech deliverance.

Generally, body language is divided into 3 parts:

Gesticulation

Gesticulation is also referred to as “making proper gestures”. The different movements that we make using our hands are called gestures and the process is called gesticulation. Whenever a person delivers a speech, there comes certain points when he or she has to focus a bit to grab the attention of the audience. Proper use of gesture by making particular arm movements in the air can grab the attention of the audience.

In addition, the gestures are directly proportional to the size of the audience. If you are having a small meeting, you do not need to overly exaggerate your gestures. On the other hand, if you are a political leader or a person similar to that, you can have an audience of a million people in front of you. At that spot, you will need to focus on a powerful speech. Therefore, your gestures need to be exaggerated, deliberate, slow and accentuated. This is because you need to give adequate time for a million pairs of eyes to follow your movement.

Facial Expression

Facial expressions are indeed a very important part of your overall body language in your speech deliverance. Your audience will draw a conclusion or an idea of what you are talking about or what your mood is just by observing your facial expressions. So, if you want to deliver a successful speech, you need to focus on how to maintain the appropriate facial expressions during your presentation. Facial expressions of a debater or presenter greatly depends upon the lip and face movements. Many debaters and presenters are unaware of these facial expressions and just neglect them. Therefore it would be a good idea to rehearse your speech in front of a mirror or record your speech on video in order to observe your facial expressions.

Another aspect of your facial expressions is your eye contact with your audience. Eye contact is generally referred to as the point of confidence in your speech. If you are shy in making eye contact with your audience, you cannot deliver a good speech. You need to build inner self confidence to make eye contact with your audience. Your eye contact will help your audience connect with, like and trust you.

It will not be practical to establish eye contact with every individual in the room. So, a good way to deal with large crowds is to look at the people in the first few rows only. Beyond the third row, all you’ll see is a sea of heads with no eyes anyway. If the room had got a video camera which is projecting you on the big screen, lucky you. All you need to do is to look at the camera while speaking. Your eye contact with the camera will appear as eye contact with the audience on the big screen.

Body Posture

Last but not least is how you stand. It is also referred to as your body posture. Your body posture is very important as it will enable you to breathe well and portray a sense of confidence. If you have the inclination to sway or rock while speaking, spread your feet out almost in line with your shoulders, parallel to one another. Standing in this position will minimize any swaying or rocking motion and decrease disturbing heel movements. Feel free to move around and return to this posture, just don’t pace.

These are some of the non-verbal messages your audience may interpret when you do the following:

  • Leaning to one side – You are uncomfortable being on stage, you are trying to escape.
  • Pacing across the speaking area like a caged tiger – You are trying to break free, just like the caged tiger.
  • Rocking back and forth – Loss of power, you are nervous.

So there you go, my friends. Gesticulation, facial expressions and body posture will make or break your speech. While we all want to believe that it’s sufficient to be natural in front of a room, achieving this is easier said than done. It’s a strange and uncommon thing that produces strain, pressure, and ‘butterflies” in our stomachs. Being natural is insufficient. We need to be more dramatic, larger and more commanding. It takes additional determination and vigor. It also takes talent and rehearsal. With so much reliant on communication and communication contingent upon our physiology, it’s worth getting it right. Toil on your Gesticulation, facial expressions and body posture to make the most of every speaking occasion.

Good luck 🙂

The History and Importance of Public Speaking

Since the beginning of time, spoken words have been of paramount importance in the arena of communication. Let’s look at the history and importance of public speaking today.

If one traces the evolution of mankind from its initial stage one will find that the nomadic family of savages relied wholly upon what its members said to one another. As mankind evolved, groups of families formed clans or tribes. In these tribes, the folks still heard the instructions of their leaders.

Story-tellers, in all aboriginal societies were valuable spreaders of knowledge, entertainment, and religion. Story-telling was entirely oral those days. In well-structured communities such as the city republic of Greece, all matters were discoursed in open gatherings in front of the masses.

Many great periods of the world’s evolution has shown the paramount importance of speech upon human action, individual and communal. In the Roman Forum speeches were made that impacted the entire ancient world. Renaissance Italy, imperial Spain, unwieldy Russia, freedom loving England, revolutionary France, all experienced epochs when powerful men and women stirred the people into passionate action with their vociferous speeches.

The history of the United States was greatly influenced by great speakers who delivered inspirational speeches. The colonists were directed to resolute action by convincing speeches. The Colonial Congresses and Constitutional Convention were controlled by influential orators. The history of the slavery problem is largely the epic of famous discourses and debates. Most successful Americans rose to high levels of leadership due to their ability to influence their people. Presidents have been nominated and sacked because of their public speaking skills (or the lack of it).

During World War I & II, the billions of the world were as much anxious with what some of their leaders were saying as with what their other leaders were doing.

There is no facet of modern life in which the spoken word is not supreme in importance. Even written agreements are normally preceded by spoken words (such as debate, discussions and deliberation) first.

Representatives of the countries of the world deliberating upon a peace accord can easily be swayed by speech. In state assemblies, town councils, courts of law, religious bodies, theatres, hotels, societies, boards of management, shareholders’ meetings, business negotiations, classrooms, dinner gatherings, social events, or any other friendly call where two people meet there is communication by means of speech.

Therefore, it is crucial to learn public speaking and effective communication skills in order to influence people, change the world and uplift the spirit of the people.