Master the art of public speaking
I strongly believe that one can build or break any relationship based on how they communicate. Every time you express your thoughts and opinions, you become a public speaker. It need not be rehearsed or be in the form of a speech or a presentation in front of an audience. It is an art form that can lead to great achievements once conquered. So how does one master the art? Many people have this question in their minds and want to ace the art of public speaking. Knowledge is power but when you put that knowledge into action, you become powerful. This article will provide you with the basic knowledge of what public speaking is and how one can stand out in the crowd. But if there’s no action, there will be no result. So here are some techniques that can be implemented immediately. How you use this knowledge, will unravel your journey of becoming powerful.
Frequently asked questions about public speaking
#1 What causes Glossophobia?
Glossophobia is the fear of public speaking. It derives its origin from a Greek which means speech anxiety.
It can be caused due to the following reasons:
- You might be afraid that you’ll forget what you have to say which will lead to embarrassment
- You might be afraid to speak in front of unknown people
- You might be afraid of the judgement that’ll be passed from your audience or don’t trust your skills to be good enough
- You might not be comfortable with English
- You might be worried that people may notice that you are nervous
- You might not be prepared for unexpected questions from the audience
To find an appropriate solution, it is important to find the root cause. There is no purpose of working on spoken skills if you don’t know what causes fear in the first place. Fear can be logical or psychological. Logical fears can be tackled with techniques and tips but psychological fears such as self-doubting are difficult to treat. In such cases, one has to alter the mindset as the individual’s thought process is stopping them from overcoming the hurdle. Here are some tricks that will help in combating the rigid mindset.
- Think about how you are bringing about a change in someone’s life with your words
- Close and visualise what you want your audience to retain and practice after being a part of your session
- Use affirmations: affirmations are one of the most powerful tools to manifest your dreams and desires. You can either write it down or can reiterate them in your head; “I am an amazing public speaker. I feel so confident when I go in front of people. I am getting better day by day.” You can create your own affirmations as well. It will help in eliminating your fears.
#2 They say if you make mistakes, you will learn. However, great speakers don’t make mistakes. What should I do?
I have been asked this question many times. Listen carefully to any famous public speaker. Concentrate on every single word they say and try to find out mistakes. You will be amazed to see that even their speeches aren’t ‘perfect’. The difference is that their confidence is so high that they don’t think much about the mistakes. They intend to be clear and convey their thoughts. In doing so, people connect with you and when they connect with you, they don’t think much about the grammatical errors. Focus on the delivery and getting the attention of your audience.
#3. What if people think that I am not a good speaker?
The only reason your performance drops and leads to low self-confidence is that ‘You’ are not ‘You’ when you deliver the message. During the speech, you are anxious and fear consequences rather than focussing on the objective. Remember, if you are not able to speak well, it doesn’t mean that you are not worthy. Confidence comes through when you start believing in yourself. If you believe in your abilities, the world will believe in you. As Shakespeare said, “To thine own self be true.” Don’t try to be anyone else. We are all unique in our own ways that’s our superpower. Recall the moment when you are with your friends. The reason why you speak fluently is that ‘You’ are ‘You’ in that instance and you trust your skills.
#4. How do I keep the audience engaged?
With the advent of social media, it is difficult to keep the audience engaged at all times. It is important to be authentic and transparent so that your audience trusts you and is willing to communicate. Ask them questions, tell them to raise their hands if they resonate with your views and listen to your audience so that you can keep them involved as much as possible.
#5. How to be an effective listener?
Give your attention to the other person. We can easily get distracted by our thoughts and end up ignoring the other person. Do your best to be completely available to the other person and focus on the conversation. Show the other person that they’ve got your full attention by maintaining eye contact. Look at them, even if they don’t look at you. You don’t have to stare at them but remain attentive to what they have to share. Try not to focus on theperson’s accent or mannerisms that might stand out as it may be disrespectful for them.
Encourage the other person to speak their heart out. Show them that your paying attention by nodding or using affirmative gestures. Do your best to understand the other person’s point of view. Let go of preconceived ideas and understand the issue from their perspective. Empathy is the heart and soul of effective listening. To empathise, you have to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and let yourself feel what it’s like to be them at that moment.
If the other person pauses (even for a long time), it does not necessarily mean that they have finished speaking. Be patient and allow them to continue in their own time. Don’t interrupt or finish their sentence as sometimes it takes time to formulate what is that they want to say and how they want to say it. If the other person is discussing a problem, stop yourself from suggesting solutions. Most of the times, people don’t want advice. If they do, they’ll usually ask for it. Most people figure out their problems, they just want someone to listen to them.
Avoid personal prejudice:
Do your best to remain impartial. You don’t have to like the person or even agree with their ideas, opinions or values to communicate effectively with them. However, it’s important to withhold your judgment and set aside any blame and criticism to fully understand them. Avoid jumping to conclusions. Remember that the other person is using language as a medium to represent their thoughts and feelings. You don’t know what these feelings are and the only way you will find out is by listening.