Regardless if you are responsible for presentations or not, in order to succeed in business, you must be able to effectively deliver your message. In this week’s post, we are covering 8 things you can do to improve your speaking skills.
Let’s Dive In!
Watch Your Filler Words
Words such as “um,” “ah,” “like,” “you know,” etc. are all considered filler words. They can dramatically decrease your message efficacy because they can be distracting and minimize your point rather than impact it. Instead, if you are searching for words, start getting into the habit of pausing. In many instances, pausing can be an effective way of keeping people’s attention and creating an impact.
Know Your Content
Regardless if you are speaking in front of the room or in a meeting, it’s imperative to be prepared. Spend some time reviewing the items you intend to talk about, your key points, and anticipate what questions you may be asked.
Mindset is everything. Imagining, visualizing and believing that you will deliver an amazing presentation is half the battle. If you believe you will bomb, you most likely will. If you believe you will deliver a spectacular presentation, you will. If you don’t believe me, believe Henry Ford. He once said, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” Apply that to your next presentation
Know Your Audience
Know who will be there, why they are attending, their level of expertise/knowledge of the topic, and what their expectations are. This will help you deliver the best presentation possible.
Squash any fears you may have about speaking in public. Find excuses and any opportunity possible to get on the stage or in front of an audience. The more you do it, the easier it will become.
Toastmasters is an invaluable organization that teaches you how to think on your feet, manage nerves, abolish filler words, get used to speaking in front of an audience, and help to reduce habits like stammering.
Expand Your Vocabulary
Have you ever noticed that a good speaker who captures and keeps your attention does so through a diverse vocabulary? They tend to do a phenomenal job of using very descriptive words that pull you into their presentation instead of using the same adjectives over and over again which can become boring to the audience.
Tell A Story
Stories capture our attention and takes us through. A good story involves a basic structure of a beginning, a middle, and an end. It also allows the audience to feel emotions and includes a series of highs and lows.
Speaking in front of an audience is a skill that can be learned and that most definitely takes practice to perfect. Do you and your business a favor and take the time to work on this skill.