Some scientific researches claim that many people list public speaking as their major fear. However, public speaking skills are paramount in life because if you have mastered them, you will set up new connections, find new contracts for promoting yourself or the business you are involved in. It is said that public speaking, even in a professional context, is a performance. And each performance implies good self-control, sense of humor, flexibility, the ability to keep the attention of the audience.
So, it doesn’t matter whether you are a newcomer and want to develop your oratory skills or you are an experienced professional, who is seeking new ways to improve professional skills, this article will be helpful for you. Consider this guide of online resources, which will benefit the development of your public speaking skills.
Common Speaker Pitfalls
Each speaker, who dreams of becoming successful, should know that even the greatest content may sound boring if there is no connection with the audience. Here are five common pitfalls each speaker should try to avoid:
The audience members don’t understand why they should listen to the speaker
It’s important to grab the attention of the audience and hold it. So, make sure that the audience understands what benefits your presentation will bring to it. People should be excited about it.
The audience doesn’t feel involved
Every speech needs involvement. Ask questions, involve people in your stories, and organize quick activities.
The speaker is not involved
If the speaker is not emotionally involved in the speech, then there is no chance to establish a connection with the audience.
The speaker and the audience don’t share the same energy
The energy of the speaker should always match the energy of the audience. If it is laid-back, then the speaker shouldn’t be too energetic and loud.
The content isn’t original
If the speaker uses one-dimensional and non-original content, the people will find out that they’ve heard it before and they will tune out.
Strategies For Becoming A Better Speaker
Pounding hearts and trembling hands are something, which each public speaker experiences. Nervousness is completely normal unless it interferes with your performance. A successful public speaker can set aside all distractions, focus on the speech and the audience. Only then, his words will penetrate into the minds and hearts of people.
Here are a few rules how to become a good public speaker.
The adrenaline rush in the blood makes you more alert and ready for the performance, but in the meantime, it may spoil it. The only way to cope with nerves is to be ready for the performance. You should prepare well: read your notes for several times, check your visual aid for several times, make yourself comfortable with the material, analyze the feedback and practice a lot. Then, even if you are nervous, it won’t affect your performance negatively.
Learn everything about your audience
If you want your speech to be successful, everybody should listen to you and understand. So, before preparing the speech, learn as much as possible about your audience. It will help you to choose the right tone, the words, the motivational statement, the level of information.
Organize information effectively
Your motivational statement should be witty and engaging because you should grab audience’s attention in the first 30 seconds. Then, you should write down your general and specific purpose, and supporting points. Also, start the speech with a startling fact, statistics, the quotation and end the speech with a strong statement.
Adapt to the reaction of the audience
Remember that your speech is for the audience, so gauge the reaction of people, stay flexible, change your tone and message if it is necessary. Besides, always make an eye contact and don’t read the whole speech.
Add something personal
The audience always likes a personal touch in the speech, so add a story from your own experience. It will grab the attention and make your speech more inspiring.
Pay attention to your appearance
If you look great, you feel confident and it is reflected in your speech. Make sure your clothes are neat and match the occasion. Smile to feel relaxed and win the audience.
Ways To Enhance Public Speaking Skills
Speaking to the audience is always tough. Statistics show that about 74 percent of people suffer from speech anxiety. So, in order to be a successful speaker, you should not only cope with your anxiety but speak clearly, with a certain rhythm and in a language that is understandable to the target audience. In addition, the content that you give to the public should be easy to digest and well presented. For this, visual and phonetic techniques are used.
To master this difficult art, you should have a great desire to evolve and dispose of excellent resources that will help you with this! Here is a list of the most effective resources for improving your oratory skills.
Websites And Blogs
Websites and blogs, which help you to enhance your oratory skills, are of a great importance for you. They have versatile materials, which you can use, there you may get acquainted with different speech examples and strategies of becoming a better speaker and communicate with real people from all over the world. Here is the top of online websites and blogs for improving speaking skills.
This website is about sharing thoughts and ideas with people all over the world. This is a community of polished speakers. You may watch Must-see and high-rated TED Talks and use them as an example or try to criticize them in order to identify weaknesses and do not repeat these mistakes in your speech.
This resource will help you to learn much about American Sign Language (ASL). It is vital for public speakers as many of them have one problem – they gesticulate too actively or do not know where to put their hands.
This online learning website offers various courses for the personal growth, including guides for the development of public speaking skills. Thus, the guide about building public speaking skills teaches how to deal with comments, give a polished speech, prepare a well-structured outline and get over the nervousness. Besides, this resource gives the opportunity to create your own course. They have high standards and when you record your first video, you will receive constructive feedback. Then, you will know what to change and in what direction to develop.
This is a database of more than five thousand texts, audio, and video materials. Public speeches of famous people, political debates, interviews, lectures will aid you to polish your oratory skills.
This website offers different materials. There are speeches of different people on various topics. Choose between the categories: 1980s (70s, 60s), music, sports, space. Or search by famous personalities (John F. Kennedy, George Bush, Gerald Ford).
This website features the collection, which highlights speeches by an eclectic mix of black leaders. Their speeches are cohesive, impassioned, and eloquent. You may listen to them online.
This blog features various articles. It is devoted to the development of public speaking skills and is run by Dr. Jim Anderson. He describes different types of speeches, gives advice how to grow speaking abilities, describes the structure of the speech, ways how to make the audience love your idea.
This site gives information about building your public speaking skills, delivering the speech in an effective manner and creating a perfect Power Point Presentation.
This resource features tips as for interpersonal communication, and tips, related to the public speaking.
It encompasses speaking techniques, and tips as for presentation points (humor, storytelling, opening, closing).
You may buy educational courses, which incorporate several chapters, each of which has its own goal. Step by step, you learn how to cope with fear, become more confident, relaxed, and organize ideas well. Here are some educational courses you may consider.
This course is aimed at participants, who have problems with articulating thoughts verbally in an effective manner. This 10-week course gives tips as for the speech preparation process and for delivering informative speeches.
This course focuses on people, who have a fear response to public speaking. In this course, the secrets of the best TED speakers are revealed.
The author of this distance education course is Professor Deborah Bridges from the University of Houston. This series of lectures is about the development of verbal/nonverbal skills and creating persuasive speeches.
This is an online course on Udemy. The course was created by Life Progression Project, Lorraine Wiseman. It gives tips how to prepare for the performance, create energy within the audience, cope with questions, use your voice and tone, engage the audience.
This course is aimed at professionals, who want to learn how to argue without being argumentative. In this course, tips how to design compelling speeches, identify the topic and outline specific steps are given.
Your gadget may be your best friend in assisting you to improve your public speaking skills. These apps for your mobile phone are easy to use, they are a go-to variant for people with hectic routine. Here are some examples:
This mobile platform is number one for entertaining and learning. It offers the functions of creating videos, uploading them, subscribing to different channels, commenting them. You may record your own videos in front of the camera, write the script, edit videos. It will help you eliminate fear and develop better speaking skills.
This application provides thousands of classes, related to public speaking. Different universities and organizations offer courses, which will fit both a beginner and a professional.
This is a mind-mapping application, which is available for iOS. It features a graphic organizer, a concept-mapping, and outlining. Everything, which will be useful for the improving your public speaking skills.
The app offers tongue twisters, helps to work on pausing, which is considered to be one of the biggest issues for speakers. You may record your voice and the app will rate the speech depending on the clarity of the speech, intonation, the usage of fillers “like” and “um.”
This app has a database of quotes. You may use them to spice up the presentation. Search for the quote by the author or the topic and archive your favorite sayings.
Various articles, written by experts, may be extremely helpful for you. They feature speaking strategies, tips for the organization, preparation, and presentation of the speech.
This article represents the author’s vision how to give a talk using presentation software or transparencies. This article covers the issues about the rhythm of the speech, the importance of pauses, a proper usage of props, and common mistakes.
The author shares his experience and approaches the public speaking performance from the theatre perspective. He suggests framing the content into metaphors, anecdotes, and stories in order to hold the attention of the audience.
This website is devoted to the improvement of public speaking skills. The range of topics, which cover the articles, is very broad. There is information about the importance of the title, incorporating humor into the speech, tips how to deal with a distracted audience, and add imaginations to the storytelling in order to captivate the audience.
This article comprises the compilation of the pieces of advice of the world’s most sought after experts and speakers. These tips are divided into several sections, which touch upon the professional speaking, the presentation, and the business of speaking.
The author of “QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” gives tips as for the preparation for the performance, the importance of studying the experience of the methods of successful public speakers. Also, she describes the importance of accentuating the positive, the importance of smiling and having the video diary or a video blog.
Tools To Get Over Public Speaking Anxiety And Find Confidence
Anxiety either helps the speaker to pull himself together and speak or undermines his faith. Anyway, every successful speaker should learn how to cope with anxiety.
This resource helps to cope with a fear of public speaking. Submitted resources help to alleviate the worries and promote the personal growth.
This application is available for Android users. It offers a 3-D simulation, where the learner may choose either a 15-person office or a 400-person conference. These virtual people may move, listen and give distractions. Besides, you may upload slides and other visual aid.
This app helps to improve speaking skills efficiently. It is targeted at people who face upcoming presentations. You are welcome to practice in a virtual environment and receive feedback from a simulated virtual audience.
The application teaches how to be yourself, find out innovative ways to chat with audience members skipping the trivial phrases. It advises dividing the speech into several parts. Also, the app offers blank fields, where you may write ideas and fulfill your task pressure-free.
This app serves as a teleprompter. So, if you are overwhelmed by emotions, it will help you to calm down and sound confident. You may read the text during the presentation, edit the document, share it, scroll the text at different speeds, and pause and restart the speech if it is necessary.
Tools For Speech Writing
Good public speaking skills always correlate with good writing skills. Good public speaking and writing skills transcended over into all spheres of life, so it is vital to be a good speaker. And it doesn’t matter whether you deliver a speech at the conference or write love messages for a loved one. Here are some tools, which will help you to enhance speech writing skills.
With its help, you may train all skills, which relate to the speech writing. You learn how to write, edit the speech. Also, use presentation tips.
This place is a perfect start for beginners. You’ll learn how to develop good writing skills and give an effective speech.
The blog is run by Brent Kerrigan, who is called The Global Speechwriter. Here is a diversity of formulas how to create an effective and inspiring speech. The content is constantly updating.
This is both a blog and a service center as many freelance writers seek a job here. It provides the examples of already written speeches, and online courses.
The site unites the best speeches as effective examples and speech-giving techniques.
Additional Useful Tools
These tools aren’t the core of your work on your public speaking skills. However, with their aid, you may bring your skills to the next level.
This is an online presentation tool, you may create vivid presentations without being a designer. With this visual backdrop, you will be more confident while performing.
This is the online application, used for the voice recording. You may record your speech, then listen to it and decide what to improve.
If you need to talk straight to the point and the duration of your performance is limited, this online resource will help you. It helps to adjust your speech to the given time limit.
This resource is perfect at the preparation stage. It allows you to create the mind map, where you may generate and brainstorm ideas for the speech and share them.
This application allows mastering better public speaking skills through daily practice. It features 13 different metronome tones including even a voice option. You train, improve the speech rhythm and thanks to the color patterns, you keep a track of tempo-beats.
So, if you want to become a successful public speaker, work on your public speaking skills constantly and stick to this advice “Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Poor Performance” – Stephen Keague, The Little Red Handbook of Public Speaking and Presenting.