9 Game-Changing Public Speaking Tips

These nine public speaking tips will change everything you feel and know about speaking in public and give you a fresh perspective on this art form.

1. Focus More on The Voice Instead of the Message

There are so many public speakers that focus all of their attention on crafting the right message and making certain they are delivering new, fresh, and exciting content to their audience. However, the truth of the matter is, there is very little “new” advice that one person can give another.

Instead of focusing on the novelty of the message, focus on your voice and what makes you unique. Look for ways to draw upon and relay insights from your own experience, instead on the message alone. This will let your message shine through and help it resonate with your audience.

2. View Public Speaking as the Performance It is

public speaking as a performance

When it comes down to it, public speaking is just a performance, no real different than when an actor steps onto the stage. If you are having trouble mustering up the confidence you need to speak in public, make sure that you are viewing your speech as the performance that it is. You can pretend to be someone else on stage when you speak; you can pretend to be someone who is more poised and confident— someone who thrives while speaking in public.

Think of the last time you dressed up as someone else. Being someone else, even if it only for a costume party, has a certain liberating feeling. It helps you let your guard down. That same feeling can be applied to your speech if you just put yourself in the right mindset. You can even go as far as creating a new name or persona for your public speaking self. Beyonce did it when she went on stage as Sasha Fierce , and you can do it, too.

3. Keep It Simple

There are so many public speakers that attempt to cram so much into each individual presentation. This often causes speakers to speed up, rush, and try to get everything out in a timely manner. Slow down, and keep your message simple. It is better to deliver less information that people can actually follow and understand than to try to put as much content as possible into a shorter time frame.

If you are already feeling nervous about public speaking, trying to do too much at once will only make it worse.

4. Look at it From the Audience’s Perspective

If you are one of those people who take public speaking very seriously, whether it is because it is part of your profession, or just because it makes you nervous, it can cause you to think about speaking only from your perspective. This is a mistake.

It can be easy to think “how will this make me look?” or “what can do better?” Public speaking is not about you. It is about your audience.

Instead of thinking how you will look and sound, or making your speech about you, make it about your audience. Think about who is in your crowd. Put yourself in their shoes and determine what you would want to hear if you were them. It will not only make your speech better but it will also give you confidence knowing you are delivering a message people want to hear.

5. Study Great Speeches

great public speakers

If you have ever heard a speech that moved you before or if you have heard of someone else enjoying a particular speech, get the transcript. You can learn so much from studying the transcript of a speech. Look at the construction of the speech and the set up. How does it open? How does it flow through the body? What is the closing like? What did the speaker do to engage their audience?

For most people, public speaking isn’t just a skill they were born with. It is something that they learn and acquire over time.

6. Film Yourself

The first thing to remember about practicing public speaking is that you can’t just practice in your head. As well, reading your speech aloud is not the same thing as practicing it in person.

If you really want to improve your skills so you feel more confident in your public speaking abilities, then film yourself while you are speaking.

This way you can re-watch yourself, look at your eye contact, really listen to your pacing, and tweak how you deliver your speech from there. This is one step above practicing in the mirror, and there is no better way to truly hone your skills so you can get better.

7. Be Realistic About Your Weaknesses and Highlight Your Strengths

No public speaker is perfect. Not even the professionals.

If you want to change your attitude about public speaking and change your approach, then you need to be realistic with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses. Know what your strengths are, and accentuate and highlight those strengths when you deliver your speech. If you are great at stories—use them! If you having great comedic timing—use it!

You also need to be realistic about your weaknesses and do your best to avoid the things that take away from your speech. If you aren’t funny, don’t try to be. Just because you like someone else’s speaking style, it doesn’t mean that it will work for you. Know what you’re good at and stick to it.

8.) Just Smile

There is nothing as powerful as a smile and nothing as simple either. Smile before you head on stage. Smile as your audience filters into the room and smile during your speech. When you take a moment to smile, it naturally brings a feeling of confidence and relaxation over your entire body.

Smiling at someone in your audience can help you feel calmer, and less nervous, while helping you feel more connected to the audience that you are speaking to. It is really that simple—so give it a try

smile for public speaking

9. Be Realistic About Your Expectations

One of the biggest reasons people get disappointed with their public speaking engagements is because they are unrealistic about how it will go. Before you ever step in front of an audience, you need to be realistic about what to expect from your crowd and what your crowd expects from you. This will help you be more confident after your speech ends and you can use this for your next engagement.

For example, if you are giving a presentation on stock numbers in front of your fellow employees, chances are it isn’t going to be the type of motivating speech that brings people to tears and renders a standing ovation. You may not even get a clap, and that is alright. Know what to expect so that you can feel better about the outcome in the end.

7 Coaching Tips for Managers and Leaders

Managers and leaders are critical to the success of a business, and so are effective coaching skills. Consistent coaching helps with employee onboarding and retention, performance improvement, skill improvement, and knowledge transfer. On top of these benefits, coaching others is an effective method for reinforcing and transferring learning.

While there are many important leadership skills and competencies, coaching is central to improving the performance of entire teams.

So when it comes to coaching your team, what’s your strategy? We’ve identified 7 key skills and competencies that play a role in choosing a method of coaching for employees:

Ask good questions.

Great questions lead to great answers, and great answers lead to great conversations. As a manager or leader, it is critical that you develop strong relationships with your employees. This will help you determine if your employees are curious, have the capacity to perform and improve, and have a positive attitude.

Take a positive approach.

You should always try to maintain a positive outlook on things, even in tough situations. A positive attitude toward situations will help both you and the person you’re coaching respond and react in a way that fosters positive change.

Listen and empower.

Coaching requires both encouragement and empowerment. Managers must work with employees to build one-on-one relationships that result in improved performance.

Your employees are likely to have a lot of input, questions, and feedback. It’s important for them to know you care enough to listen to what they have to say, and encourage them to share their opinions.

Know how to guide conversations.

This is where communication skills and emotional intelligence really come into play. Managers must guide conversations both by asking questions and listening, not by giving directives. Employees learn and grow the most when they uncover the answers themselves.

Commit to continuous learning.

Make a commitment to improve your own skills and competencies. If you’re not continuously learning, why should your employees? Lead by example and your team will follow.

Show that you are interested in their success (why wouldn’t you be?). Ask questions about where they see their career going, or how they see their role evolving in the company. Even if they don’t have a plan laid out yet, these questions will make them think about their career and what they want to accomplish within the organization.

Show your employees that you don’t just want them to do better so you look better, but that you’re actively interested in their career, accomplishments and professional success.

Coach in the moment.

Learning is best when things are occurring in the moment. If an employee comes to you with a question about a process or protocol, use this opportunity to teach them something new.

Most people learn best by doing, so coach as you go! If you’re busy at the moment, try to schedule some time for later that day. They will appreciate that you took the time to show them how it’s done, and they can now coach others who have the same question.

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