How to Become a Better Public Speaker

by | Administration, Engagement, Leadership

Ok its almost time to do your speech, but you’re nervous. It’s ok to be nervous, in fact it’s normal. The best speakers get nervous. Nervous is a feeling, it doesn’t define you. You may not be able to shake your nerves entirely, but you can learn to minimize them. Be yourself, don’t sound like a robot by reading your speech from a script. In fact, you should just have talking points or an outline that can jog your memory and keep you on task. Plus, not reading your speech from a script makes you look like you really know your stuff and your audience will trust what you have to say. 

Just like in storytelling, you must grab your audience’s attention in the first few seconds. Tell a story, use humor and maintain good eye contact with your audience. Know your audience, because it will help you decide how to choose your words, the level of information, and motivational statement. A good speaker asks the question, “What do you need? How can I help?” Communication is a two-way street with both parties being engaged. A good speaker has the patience to be a good listener and open to other people’s point of view. 

Take the time to go over your notes several times and once you have become comfortable with the material, practice, practice, practice. However, practice doesn’t make you perfect, it will only help you deliver a better speech. It wouldn’t hurt to have someone listen and critique you. Also, practice out loud so that you get more comfortable. Winging it doesn’t work even for the best of them. Please practice and prepare. Finally, stand up straight. I know it sounds silly, but good posture helps your voice. It’s all a matter of trial and error. Keep track of where you need to improve. Some patience and practice can take you a long way to become the speaker you aspire to be. I wish you well now have fun and show no fear.

Andre Jones has worked in television production for over 30 years, He is the owner and CEO of Another Jones Production, an award winning, full service media production company offering creative solutions to meet your media needs of all sizes. If you have any questions, feel free to contact him at andre@ajproduction.org.

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