A simple exercise to improve your public speaking

Why do you have to be a good speaker today? I mean, you can make yourself understood, get what you want, and express your feelings. So why waste time upgrading or even thinking about the ‘soft’ skill of public speaking?

Well, a lot of people can make themselves understood. They can get by delivering a presentation, or speech, or even just a few words to mark a retirement or an engagement.

But getting by is not getting ahead. Not if you want to distinguish yourself in your career, or stand out above the rest as a public speaker, or feel comfortable delivering remarks that touch the hearts of listeners.

And if you’ve got a really important message that people need to hear, how do you make sure they hear your message over the din of all the other pitches competing for our attention.

We live in a world of information overload, much of it delivered orally. Lectures, workshops, meetings, podcasts, webinars, television and radio interviews, Ted Talks. They’re all vying for our attention.

Somewhere in this cacophony is you and your message.

So how do you make your voice heard above the roar of the information highway. 

At Podium Coaching we help in three ways:

  • we liberate your natural speaking voice – immediately improving the way your message is received
  • we focus on clarity and brevity: short words in short sentences – ensuring your message is understood
  • our TalkitOut Technique makes it easier to deliver your message without fluffs or stumbles – so your nerves disaoppear and your confidence grows

In the New Year I’ll be sharing some really practical tips on the art of public speaking. But you need to do a little homework. Here’s a little observation exercise over the holidays.

Examine your speaking style when you’re comfortable, say speaking to friends at a dinner party or chatting in a coffee shop:

  • Do you speak in long sentences? Short sentence? Fragments of sentences?
  • How do you speak when you get passionate about a subject?
  • What do you notice about your body language when you communicate? What do you do with your hands?
  • Do you use a lot of adjectives? Adverbs? Do you speak in metaphors? Similes?
  • Do you struggle for words when you are speaking with friends? Do you favour simple, everyday words – or do you try to impress with bigger words?

Over the holidays, just note your spoken language. One of the keys to effective public speaking is to know yourself and to understand your natural speech patterns. That’s an important first step towards speaking authentically.