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Public Speaking Tips

By Charles Hopkins Published 05/26/2007 | Self Improvement

Speaking to others is a natural, human experience. When we speak to one another, or one person speaks to a group, what we are doing is really communicating. Communicating involves getting the point of the spoken idea across to your listeners so they understand your topic or subject matter. In the basic sense, communication is essential for survival, since we have to communicate properly to get the things we want and need in life. Therefore, good communication skills are necessary.

Today, there are many people that work in a public setting that involves communication among peers. Many employers like banks, schools, sales and marketing companies and the like may have certain requirements for you to be considered for employment. In an office setting that you may find at employers like these is an environment where humans are supposed to interact, relate and communicate with one another to complete a task or to convey an idea or a series of ideas.

This is where public speaking comes into play. Although you can take a speaking course in high school and college, public speaking skills are best developed by speaking to others at an office meeting or presentation where you, as the speaker, communicate your ideas to the extent your listeners understand them. More often than not however, is that most people feel uncomfortable speaking in front of 20 or so people. Some end up speaking with a lack of self-confidence, thus hindering the communication effectiveness and also how you are perceived professionally in the workplace environment.

So, how do you develop the skills required to speak publicly and to speak with confidence? It is a very important skill to have after all, since a good speech with effective communication delivered with confidence can carry the day. What follows are some tactics and techniques that you can employ to help optimize your public speaking and to hone your skills.

If you work at an employer or in an environment where you may have to give a speech or speak publicly, you should thoroughly research what you are going to be discussing. The research should be done at such a level, that when you have completed it, you know the subject matter backwards and forwards, inside and out. This will give you confidence when your speech is delivered. Writing your speech out on paper is good a good idea too as this helps you learn and memorize specific things you may want to point out when you deliver your speech.

It is also a good idea to do a dry run of your speech to family members or friends so that they can give you some constructive criticism for improvement. When they give you suggestions for improvement, implement them in your speech material if you think they are sound and will actually improve your speech. Ask your dry run listeners to ask questions about the subject you are presenting so you can get feedback on the level of confidence you have in your answers and explanations. Also, remember to present your dry run speech using the tools and resources you will have available when you deliver your actual speech.

If you are speaking to children make sure to work on the tone of your voice. Children are more likely to pay attention to your speech if you sound enthused and knowledgeable. Try to involve your young listeners in your speech by asking their opinions of things you are discussing with them. When speaking to children or teens, make sure you dress casually and make your eye contact to show your interest in how they think and feel about your subject. It is also a good idea to make small jokes to fill a pause or to break your speech up a little. This also shows them that you are relaxed and comfortable speaking to them.

Public speaking is a very important skill you must have to achieve your goals, especially in a working environment that caters to well developed communication skills. It is necessary for survival in obtaining employment, encouraging others and social interaction and development. Public speaking is best perfected with practice and as you get better, your peers will motivate you to even higher levels of achievement.