Public speaking is the process of communicating information to an open public audience. It is usually done in front of a group of diverse audience, like in school, in the workplace, and also in our personal lives. Public speaking skill is often included in professional job descriptions. Dynamic and well-prepared speakers are particularly valued by employers and tend to earn leadership positions and important client contact roles. If you plan to hold a position that requires interaction with people, public speaking skill is crucial to include in your resume!
What Exactly Is Public Speaking?
Public speaking is happening everywhere. Think about a time that you had to stand in front of a bunch of people and tell them something. It could be an academic presentation in college or a professional proposal being delivered at work. Public speaking involves communicating information in front of a large audience.
What makes public speaking different than simply talking to people, is in the manner that information is presented. In public speaking, the information is purposeful and meant to inform, influence or entertain a group of listeners. Public speaking dates back centuries, yet still remains one of the most important skills we can acquire in modern times.
Why Employers Value Public Speaking Skills?
The art of public speaking comes into play, not only in the delivery of speeches and public talks, but also in professional presentations, training events, and motivational speaking. Consultants, trainers, managers, clergy, sales representatives, teachers, and many other occupations all require professionals to possess strong public speaking skills to convey information effectively.
Effective public speakers are in an excellent position to get their messages across in the workplace. A rusty or nervous speaker can make an excellent presentation seem less interesting while a polished speaker can add great value to the existing content.
Feeling Nervous Is Normal
Everyone feels nervous in some situations. We all know the feeling of a racing heart and sweaty palm. The important thing is, feeling nervous doesn’t mean you’ll mess things up or make a fool of yourself. Some nerves are good, it increases your adrenaline level and motivates you to perform better.
The best way to overcome anxiety is to prepare. Practice makes perfect after all. Take the time to go over your notes multiple times and practice with a pair of fresh eyes for advice. Once you grew comfortable with the material, you’ll be able to be the best self on stage.
Organize Your Materials and Prepare In Advance
Prior to your speech, organize Your Material in the Most Effective Manner to Attain Your Purpose. Create the framework for your speech. Write down the topic, general purpose, specific purpose, central idea, and main points. Make sure to grab the audience’s attention in the first 30 seconds.
Showing up prepared is the No. 1 way to calm your nerves going into a public speaking experience. Preparation will also help you to improve the quality of your speaking. Only enough preparation can help you feel confident and deliver the content naturally.
Do Not Dwell on Small Mistakes
Even the most experienced public speaker will sometimes make silly mistakes. No one’s perfect. Take note of the mistakes you made during your speech and improve it in the future. Don’t be discouraged by small errors here and there.
In fact, you’re probably the only one who notice these mistakes in your presentation. As the speaker, you will naturally be aware of all the details that your audience won’t be able to see. Don’t dwell on it. The most important thing a speaker can do after making a mistake is to keep going. Don’t stop and—unless the mistake was truly unforgivable—never pause your speech for a minor slip. Carry on and maintain the flow as well as you can, and avoid the same mistake in the future.
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