How to Perfect Your Public Speaking Skills

July 13, 2018

Whether you’re giving a presentation in class or interviewing for your dream job, public speaking is an important skill to have. Like all other skills, you need time and practice to perfect it. Although public speaking is a hard skill to conquer—especially in front of a crowd—dedication and time is all you need to get comfortable, and with these helpful tips below, you’ll become a speaking pro in no time.

Take pauses

Most of the time, you're in a race against time, especially in a speech class. In other situations, you have a blocked amount of time to make your presentation. In all these cases, it’s essential to take pauses to collect yourself and not rush through your material. A few seconds of a pause will feel like a year to you, but for the audience, it will only be a small moment. Don’t be afraid to pause; it’ll help you recollect your thoughts and not rush through your words.

Record Yourself Practicing Your Speech

Need to practice pauses? Record yourself practicing your speech on a phone or laptop. Not only will it give you an idea of what your speech is about, but it’ll also show you how fast you’re talking and how many pauses you are - or are not - taking. This is a great way to become self-aware of how you sound and how you present yourself through your public speaking skills.

Practice In Front of a Mirror

Not only is public speaking about the speech and intonation of your voice, but it’s also about your presence. Practice your speech in front of a mirror to get a good idea of how you present yourself. What is your posture like? Are you moving your hands a lot? Are you angled towards the projector rather than the audience? These questions are great to ask yourself when practicing a speech.

Know What You’re Talking About

This seems like an obvious tip, but it’s crucial to know what you’re talking about if something throws you off during your speech/presentation. Memorizing isn’t the best idea, as you could stumble upon your words and forget your train of thought. In this case, be sure to know your material well enough that you don’t have to rely on slides or notecards to guide you through.