Is this happening with you ? ..….We often fail short of words to express our thoughts or clearly convey our intentions.
Here comes the need to learn Public Speaking.
Public speaking or stage fear is considered to be the biggest and most common fear. But why people fear to speak? If you have clarity about the topic you want to speak, your thoughts are logically aligned in your mind , you know the appropriate words, then why this fear of public speaking. By the way what does “Public Speaking” mean? Does it mean talking in front of a large number of people or talking to your team of 10 people at your workplace or does it simply mean talking to anybody and conveying your thoughts clearly?. Does it mean that you have to speak only in a sugar coated language, diplomatically or does it mean to express the true you? Does Public Speaking mean talking in English language only?
I will try to answer these questions- To me Public speaking skills means the skills required to talk in front of the strangers. But at times the skill becomes necessary even in personal life. There might be a large audience or a small team or only one person. The point here is to put your points clearly & effectively so that the listener understands it in a way you want to convey it. It may mean speaking naturally, from your heart and doesn’t necessarily be in a sugar quoted language but in a polite way. Public speaking doesn’t mean talking in English only, it can be any language you are comfortable but to reach to the large audience you have to be fluent in English. To begin with you start improving your public speaking skills in your mother tongue also.
Since our childhood we are taught how to speak. At home , parents teach their children not to be rude with with guests or neighbors. When we communicate with our family members or friends , we are feel that they understand us , we feel some sort of support that even if we say something wrong or speak something against them, they will understand it and forgive for the mistakes if any. But there people who have the problem in speaking clearly even with their family members also, especially children fear talking to their father or a wife fears to talk to her husband or in-laws.
If you are a parent and want ensure the overall growth of your child then have a look at this blog of Rddhi Deorah : Ensure childs overall growth
Public and Speaking are two different words having different meanings.
Public in general denotes some mass population (“the people”) in association with some matter of common interest or concerning the people as a whole or to simply refer to “community”
Speaking is “the action of conveying information or expressing one’s feelings in speech”.
Wikipedia says Public speaking (also called oratory or oration) is the process or act of performing a speech to a live audience. Public speaking is commonly understood as formal, face-to-face, speaking of a single person to a group of listeners. However, due to the evolution of public speaking, it is viewed as any form of speaking (formally and informally) between an audience and the speaker. Traditionally, public speaking was considered to be a part of the art of persuasion. The act can accomplish particular purposes including to inform, to persuade, and to entertain.
So whenever we want to express our thoughts to the other person or group of people , we need to be good at our public speaking skill.
Whether you are a boss giving instructions to your subordinates or you are an employee giving some explanation to your seniors, the speaking skills can make you or break you.
Imagine if you are working in a team but you are not able to communicate with them or take a part in office / family get together or functions then people will form a opinion that you are a egoist and arrogantly person. If this with office colleagues then they will talk bad about you , they will never help and co-operate you. This might make your life miserable at workplace because when at workplace you need to interact with many people.
The problem remains same even you work at a leadership level also. If you are not able to speak effectively in front of your team , how are you going to get the work done , guide them , motivate them?
There is a saying in Marathi which means “ if you keep quiet nobody will buy even the excellent quality wheat you are offering in sell but a talkative person / a person who is good at speaking skill will be able to sell even his rotten wheat”.
If you want to know how to improve public speaking then you have to identify the exact problem you are facing. Let’s have a look at the some of the top Challenges faced by the people having stage fear or public speaking fear and also the simple ways to tackle the issue-
1) Fear – to talk in front of people. The only solution is take the help of your family and friends…..just start talking to them, start sharing your experiences you got at school, college or workplace. The regular practice will remove your fear.
2) Anxiety – whether I will forget the things when I go in front of people or on the stage. Write down the main points of your speech on a piece of paper and carry it along with you when you are going to deliver the speech. Just have a look at those points if you forget anything.
3) Panic attack – people just go blank when they think that they have to speak in front of people.
4) Depression – getting upset just with the thought of presenting yourself in front of strangers.
5) Nervousness – feeling of upset grabs.
6) Lack of preparation – if the topic for the audience is clear but you fail to arrange the data to deliver your speech. There was a funny quote on website – www.funnp.com which I found relevant here. It goes like this:
Question: How can I make my speech effective?
Answer: “There are three things to aim at in public speaking: first, to get into your subject, then to get your subject into yourself, and lastly, to get your subject into the heart of your audience”
7) Sleepless nights to prepare the speech – the tension and anxiety to find the perfect data for the speech keeps you awake.
8) Post traumatic stress – even after the speech is over, the speaker keep worried about the opinion the audience has formed about him.
9) Lack of attention to audience – If the speaker keeps on delivering his speech without looking at the audience, the audience will not pay attention to what he is saying or may start discussing something else amongst them. So it is very important for the speaker to have a glance at the audience. Preferably try to visualize the audience in three segments – the line sitting in front of you, the line to your right hand and the line in the left hand. Try to move your eyes across these three lines; don’t keep looking at any particular person.
10) Body language –
The body language plays the crucial role in Public Speaking skills. You have to stand straight when you are giving you are giving your speech. You have to feel like you are a king at that moment and you are going to win. Don’t put your hands in the pockets of your trousers or don’t fiddle with hands. Make use of hands sensibly to express your point.
11) Pitch of the voice –
The depth and the tone of your spoken words are very crucial. Can you imagine a song if it is not sung in a rhythm or there no variation in the volume of the words…..if the song is sung in a very low tone or very high tone, it will be difficult to understand the meaning, isn’t it? In fact, the body language and the pitch contribute more than 90% of the success of your public speaking success. Let’s have a look at the short clip taken from the “PK” movie.
12) Lack of time management – If you don’t have the ability to present your data in a comprehensive manner, you will fail short of time. Before giving the speech, the speaker has to understand the time slot allotted to him and prepare his speech accordingly.
13) Lack of confidence – Most of the time the feeling of inferiority takes a toll on the speaker and he loses his confidence. The negative image about one’s looks, beauty, height etc. can make people feel inferior which ultimately results in losing confidence. You have to overcome this feeling and the only way to achieve this is to know your subject well and prepare well so that you can deliver your best.
14) Lack of sense of humor – Just a serious talk or too much technical data makes the speech boring for the audience. To keep the audience feel fresh and engaged in the speech appropriate use of quotes or jokes or some lines of famous songs are necessary.
15) Lack of presence of mind – If the speaker doesn’t understand the mood of the audience, he will fail pray to the gimmicks of some troublesome people in the audience. He needs to have the presence of mind to divert any irrelevant questions raised by the audience to what the main stream of speech.
16) Story telling skill – To keep the audience engaged in speaker’s speech. This skill helps the speaker to quickly connect with the audience and match the wave length.
By now you must have understood the need to learn public speaking. And this is something which you can learn, isn’t it? It is just like any other skill we learn. I do not mean that we should become great actor or singer to become successful in public speaking. At least we should learn to convey our thoughts clearly and fearlessly so that we progress in our career or personal relations.
For some occupations like sales people, businessmen, teacher, team leader or manager in corporates, the public speaking is the essential skill. These people must learn the art of public speaking. Without this skill, these people will never succeed. Around 75% of the populations is suffering with this fear; the fear of public speaking is the number one fear…….the fear is more than the fear of death!
It is not like that only the salesmen or businessmen and politicians need this skill. Everybody needs to learn this skill because we all are marketing ourselves throughout our life. So, the early you learn, the better it will be for you to progress in your life. With practice, you will become confident and this confidence will help you achieve more success.
Now, we will see how to improve public speaking. There are 3 secrets to learn the art of public speaking.
Let’s have a look at the 3 secrets of public speaking –
We always feel that if we have the great content for the speech, we will become the very effective But it doesn’t happen this way. The above graph clearly shows that more than half of our communication is nonverbal and through our body language. The content constitutes only 7% of the success factor So the speech should not sound too technical or like a research paper, unless it is a specific requirement of the event. Cindy Ann Peterson writes – “Think of good posture as your body’s projection of a positive message to those you meet”.
The graph itself shows the 3 secrets of Public Speaking and they are as follows :
- Spoken words
- Voice & Tone.
- Body language.
We will understand these 3 factors in this article. Body language being the most important factor , we will take it up first.
A. Body language :
The meaning of body language is “the conscious and unconscious movements and postures by which attitudes and feelings are communicated.”. You have to ensure that you are sending the right message about yourself. If want to become a good public speaker , then me ask you one question – – Are you sure that you convey your message accurately? Or could it be improved? Use the tips below and see if people react to you differently. These tips for public speaking will certainly be of help to you.
HERE ARE THE 20 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE SENDING THE RIGHT MESSAGE
- Smile when you enter a room.
- Stand with your feet hip width apart.
- Try to keep tension in your core when you walk, sit, or stand. This will help you to maintain graceful movements and good posture.
- If you are nervous, remind yourself of something impressive you have done. Keep it to yourself. This will help you to project confidence.
- Shake hands with light but firm pressure. Use the same force as you would to lift the handle of a pan.
- Take your time when greeting people. Don’t rush on to the next person.
- Maintain eye contact for the duration of a handshake.
- Point your shoes toward the person you are speaking with.
- Don’t fake a laugh. If someone makes a joke and laughter doesn’t come naturally, trust that a smile will suffice.
- Maintain eye contact for at least three seconds. Smile warmly while you do so.
- Smile often. Think of something happy, this will bring out genuine feeling rather than forced.
- Step closer to someone who wants to feel close to you.
- Step back from someone who indicates they need space.
- Mirror posture in a subtle way.
- Mirror peoples movements.
- Don’t cross your arms over your chest. This makes you seem closed off or unhappy.
- Be conscious of having good posture. Avoid slouching.
- Don’t lean on things.
- Relax, but don’t slouch. Imagine a string is pulling the top of your head.
- Resist the urge to push back your shoulders and puff out your chest.
B. Voice & Tone :
The second most important factor in public speaking is voice & tone of the speaker. The voice should not be too loud which makes people feel that speaker is almost arguing or too low that nobody is able to hear it.
With reference to the article published on https://mariapellicano.com/ , there are “4 Vocal Roles” and your tone of voice should change depending on your role.
These 4 vocal roles are –
- Motivator– inspires people
- Educator– informs others
- Coach– is directive and assertive
- Colleague– is chatty and informal
If you want to become a good public speaker you have to –
- Find the ‘right’ voice – Discover the appropriate vocal role for every work scenario, ensuring you enhance the impact of your message
- Stop being overlooked – Ensure your voice is heard in meetings and your message is retained
- Move away from monotone – Add vocal richness and variety to every communication
- Change the energy – Learn how to shift the energy in a conversation by implementing some subtle vocal changes
With some efforts the tone for these can be developed consciously and appropriately used to enrich your communications. This will ensure that your audience remains engaged.
Some of Don’ts –
- Therefore don’t try to be monotonous and struggling to be interesting and memorable.
- Don’t mumble or accent making you unclear. Rather be concise and understandable.
- Don’t try to copy others & still expect to keep the audience engaged.
Body language & Voice – tone accounts for 93% (55% + 38%) of communication which is non -verbal. In other words it means that your voice tonality is speaking louder than your words!
Some of the Do’s –
- Speak with power and energy if you want to be confident, influential.
- Voice must be honest and authentic– In corporate life or in any business everybody including the staff, management, vendors and clients want to hear the honesty and authenticity in the voice. Sometimes your words are saying one thing and your voice is saying another. This leads to misunderstanding and then the speaker keep on giving the explanation.
Therefore, to achieve the mastery over verbal communication is becoming extremely important.
3. Empathy and emotions are important than the words in your speech – people remember the feelings of a speaker in the conversation or presentation, rather than the sentences he spoke. If you are talking only theoretical or use heavy words, people will lose their interest in your speech. You have to connect with the audience using real life incidences and experiences.
C. Spoken words-
If you want to become a good public speaker then you have use a very powerful tool known as storytelling. A story can help the speaker to convey his message easily. But this doesn’t mean that you need to be the best storyteller. You just have to use the stories to bring a life to your message. The stories are easy to remember and audience will remember it.
Let’s see how we can use the skill of storytelling in public speaking.
a) Use the story to invoke & engage the minds of your audience.
Tell the story in such a way that the audience can put themselves in it and visualize it. Let the audience feel your story, if the story is abstract or dry , the audience will not be able to visualize what the speaker is talking about. So there should be logical sequence of events in the story.
The story should be able to invoke the emotions and senses of the minds of the audience. The story need be very elaborate giving each & every factual information. Even a single event explained in detail can bring the life in the story.
b) Speak from your own experiences –
Even though it may sound digging your personal life, it is necessary. You won’t be able to use the outside experiences for a long time. When you speak based on your personal experiences, it becomes easy for the audience to connect with you and they will also feel or see your point of view and listen to how you felt in that exact situation. Have you seen the art films, most of the time the audience end up in having tears in their eyes because they can relate themselves to the story of the movie?
c) Have the end of story in mind and then start telling a story-
Your story must be able convey some message, purpose or moral. The story will become great if you keep end in mind and tell the story. Have you read the stories of Panchtantra or even the stories of Akbar- Birbal? These stories have a great message at the end of the story and this makes them so popular. Therefore, it is necessary to ask a question to yourself – What is that you want your audience to learn from your story?
The topic of public speaking is quite big to cover in one small write-up, for the time being I will stop here.
So, here is a quick recap of 3 secrets of public speaking –
The nonverbal communication forms 93% of the speaking skill. The nonverbal communication is about body language, voice & tone. The power of your spoken words is only 7% and you can make most out of it with the help of storytelling tool.
If you spend only 10 minutes every day to improve your communication skill, you will see a significant success in your personal and professional life.
So far we have understood what is public speaking, it’s importance, commonly faced challenges by the people in being a good public speaker. We have also seen some of the tips. By now you must have understood that public speaking skills can make you successful and this skill can be learned. But what is needed is to understand that you have the problem. Most of the time we are not aware that we have the problem. If you want to become a good public speaker, you have take care of the 3 secrets shared above.
I am not somebody to talk on this topic authoritatively nor I am a famous public speaker but for a quite a long time I was did the jobs in corporates and I handled my team members & seniors. I know the reason of my failures and my strengths at workplace. It will be easy for you to connect with me because I am one of amongst you only but have learnt some lessons due to my experience. I feel I am just a step ahead of you so I can easily help you to overcome the issues in Public Speaking.
To reach out to people and to help them , I will soon be launching my online course in Public Speaking under the business name “Dakshil.Com”. The word Dakshil means “wisdom”. You have to apply wisdom if you want to succeed in your personal or professional life.
This course aims to enable the people to come out of their fear of public speaking and give them some confidence. I don’t claim of giving the training to become world class public speaker. My course will definitely help you to improve your public speaking skills and achieve the personal and professional success.
Would you like to know more about me? Well I am Jayashree Surve.
Basically I am a Commerce graduate, ICWA (Pune topper in Final Exams – Dec 1997 batch), MCS, Diploma in Mechanical Engg.
I have more than 16 years of experience in Automobile manufacturing companies & service industry. Proven experience in cost reduction and cost saving.
My mission is to help 10,000 people to improve their public speaking skills to become successful in their life with my Master class on Public Speaking.
My vision is to help 1000,000 people to improve their public speaking skills to become successful in their professional and personal life with my Mastery in Public Speaking Course.
I want to see my business DAKSHIL.COM as “The best public speaking factory service in India”.
Want to know how can I help you?
I will help you out to –
- Overcome the fear of public speaking.
- To build your confidence.
- To improve body Language.
Our Public Speaking course can help –
- To have effective communication skills.
- To enhance the leadership skill.
- To see the improvement in his confidence.
- To develop the ability to read and understand the people
- Corporate employees.
- Job seekers.
So , we have seen how important is the skill of communication & public speaking. It is the most crucial skill you will ever need to become a successful leader. To know more about the leadership skills, do read this blog written by Sourabh Kaushik – Leadership skills.
I am sure you want to become successful in your life with the help of Public Speaking skill, so why not connect with us today!
You can join us at –
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/jayashreeatDAKSHIL
Telegram : https://telegram.org/dl/JayashreeSurve
Twitter : https://twitter.com/SurveJayashree
Website : www.dakshil.com
Email : Jayashree@dakshil.com
This blog is written a part of the assignment of Digital Deepak Internship program in digital marketing. In case you want to join this internship program , then click here – Internship application or visit – DigitalDeepak.com
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