We all want to be confident. Confidence is usually associated with competence and with competence comes more opportunities. Unfortunately, not everyone has the qualms to stand in front of a crowd or even in front of a few to speak out. For aspiring public speakers, confidence is a vital thing. And if you’re looking for some ways on how to improve your skills in this area, the following tips could be of great help.
First things first – LISTEN
All excellent communicators weren’t recognized as such without being a good listener beforehand. It’s a basic factor. You can’t successfully bring out a message without listening to the other side of the story. The more you listen, the more you understand the matter at hand. This, in turn, allows you to construct a more relevant message for your audience.
Decide on a Message
Whether you’re asked to deliver an inspirational talk or a response to another speech, having a central message is important. This can refer to your stand about a particular matter. By having a core message, it becomes easier to expand your speech from there.
Use Eye Contact
Staying relevant to your listeners is one of the most vital factors that can decide whether or not you are being an effective speaker. One of the basic factors to do this is by using eye contact. Look at your listeners in the eye while you speak. By doing so, you are building a connection – an important thing in getting your message across.
Aside from eye contact, making use of helpful gestures such as waving of a hand, opening your arms wide and more also helps. With the right timing, these hand movements could add more impact to your message. We should include here the importance of your facial expression. Even a mild frown, a nod, or a smile already means a lot. If you are not confident on how to utilize these actions, it might be best to practice in front of a mirror to get a better view of your own delivery.
Be Mindful of Your Tone and Pacing
A professional communicator is widely applauded not only for their excellent message but also for their delivery. Tone and pacing affect this. As the speaker, you should neither speak too slow or too fast. The most efficient method is to go with the emotion your message hopes to convey. If you speak too fast, listeners will most likely miss some important details while speaking so slow might bore some of them. Practice the art of punctuating your speech. This will show the emotion of what you’re trying to convey.
Add Emphasis on Important Message – PAUSE
Adding emphasis on certain parts of a message can be a challenge. One of the most effective means to do this is to pause. This will give your audience some time to internalize or think about what you just said. Just make sure that you don’t pause for so long. Few seconds would do.
Use the Language of Your Viewers
Lastly, talk in the same language with your listeners. Talking to a group of business executives would surely sound different when facing a group of literature students. Speaking in the tone of your audience does not only make your credible but also relevant. This might come as a huge challenge especially if you’re not used to speaking to a specific group of people. But with enough preparation and even coaching, you’ll do just fine.
There’s no easy way out to becoming a professional public speaker. Even the most seasoned ones get nervous on their talks. The key is to not give up on practicing and to grab any opportunities that would help you enhance your skills. Being open-minded to the inputs of other speakers will also play a major role. Make sure to keep them in mind!
Raphael Rico Zamora is a Filipino blogger working in a translation services Philippines, a professional translation and interpretation company located in the business district of Makati City, Philippines.