There are few abilities that can assist you more in life than being a skilled public speaker. This may be more true in our current era than any before it. Speaking well enables a person to get their message across, build relationships, attract clients and encourage others to get involved in movements seeking meaningful change.
And yet, a great deal of people are terrified of talking in front of crowds. It is one of the more widespread fears within our culture.
We can't all turn into a one in a million speaking talent. But just about all of us can get better at this extremely beneficial activity.
After all, moving an audience with your words involves at its root - despite however else it may seem to be - just a skillset. And just as we can practice and enhance our abilities with regards to other skillsets, such as those involved in sports or dance or playing music, we can also practice and enhance our abilities with the skillsets involved in public speaking. And realizing these things constitutes my first tip for you in developing your public speaking abilities.
The next tip would be that, even though you can work on some aspects of public speaking by yourself, ultimately it is something that really benefits from being practiced amongst others. There are some very helpful groups, such as Toastmasters, that you can join in order to find other smart and cooperative folks willing to help you - and be helped by you - as you travel on your journeys toward speaking excellence.
A group like Toastmasters can also help you in several others ways, as well:
They offer a proven step-by-step method, based on a series of milestones, that has helped many people gradually become better speakers.
They offer the chance to watch and interact with everyone from people who have never given a public speech in their life to award winning speakers and story tellers. Experience like that can do nothing but jumpstart your own learning process.
They provide a forum in which you can give real speeches to a real audience, as well as receive comments in response to each talk you give to help you improve your next one.
Of course, partaking in a group like Toastmasters, you will learn further tips to make you a better speaker and a few of the ones you are likely to encounter are below:
Get a Little Personal - Don't pour out every secret detail of your life, of course. But, in each talk, try to find a way to let your audience know a little more about you. It can help humanize you and encourage the listeners to care more about you and what you have to say.
A Bit of Humor Goes a Long Way - There is nothing that more consistently helps warm up an audience than some well-placed humor. A funny story or a clever joke, properly timed and delivered, is a great way to break the ice. There are some talks where humor may simply not be a good fit. But, if you use some creativity, you will find those are few and far between.
Tell a Story - People of all ages love a story. When you start to tell one, it is just natural for people to hang on with curiosity to hear what happens. And this gets them paying attention - attention that you can then work to hold on to throughout the rest of your speech.
This is simply a taste of the many tips available to help you develop your public speaking abilities. You can build upon them with a variety of other tips that are available to attain a high skill level and reap all the benefits that being a great communicator brings.
It probably won't happen overnight. Like anything worthwhile, it can take time and effort to improve. But it is time and effort that is often enjoyable and sure to be well spent.