5 Tips for Being a Better Public Speaker
Complete with Famous Quotes Throughout History on the Power of Communication
“If I went back to college again, I’d concentrate on two areas: learning to write and to speak before an audience. Nothing in life is more important than the ability to communicate effectively.” - Gerald R. Ford
Public speaking is not only extremely useful in many career choices, it is also a life-long useful skill. Once you master it, it increases your confidence and self-worth!
Confidence can be built in multiple ways. If you are bold and determined enough, you can practice public speaking at every opportunity. After all, practice does make perfection. However, a much more healthy way to build confidence is over a long period of time through positive social experiences and practice public speaking.
1. Practice public speaking at every opportunity.
If you can, try to predict when you may be called upon to speak so you can prepare. Have a few good stories and remarks ready. If you can't predict it, there are always extemporaneous talks. An extemporaneous talk is like a speech ... but in the spur of the moment. In other words, you didn't plan it... but the opportunity arrived or you were called upon.
2. Eye Contact
Don't lower your gaze below the listener's chin. I am being a hypocrite when I say this... because I avoid eye contact all the time. However, eye is very important for showing confidence and friendliness.
3. Give your speeches structure.
A good way to give your speech structure is to separate it into three categories. The introduction, the main points and then wrap everything up with the conclusion.
- Introduction: what you will talk about.
- Main points: past, present, future of topic.
- Conclusion: what you talked about and what the audience should do about it.
4. Make sure your audience gets the message.
Volume, pronunciation and fluency. You need to be loud enough for everyone to hear you and you need to speak clearly enough for everyone to understand you.
“Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
5. Fake it till you make it!
“There are only two types of speakers in the world. 1. The nervous and 2. Liars.” - Mark Twain
Not the most inspirational quote... but Mark Twain does have a point. Faking it until you make it is actually good advice for those who are just starting to get a hang of things.
Need Some Inspiration? Here are some famous quotes on public speaking and the power of communication:
“Your silence will not protect you.” - Audre Lorde
“We speak not only to tell other people what we think, but to tell ourselves what we think. Speech is a part of thought.” - Oliver Sacks
“To assess the quality of thoughts of people, don't listen to their words, but watch their actions.” - Amit Kalantr
“Speech is for the convenience of those who are hard of hearing; but there are many fine things which we cannot say if we have to shout.” - Henry David Thoreau
"My secret is -- believe it or not -- I get incredibly nervous before public speaking, no matter how big the crowd or the audience and, um, despite the fact that I laugh and joke all the time I get incredibly nervous, if not anxious, actually, before going into rooms full of people when I'm wearing a suit... And now that I've confessed that, I'll probably be even more worried that people are looking at me." - Prince Harry
"Make sure that you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening! " - Dorothy Sarnoff
"No speech is ever considered, but only the speaker. It's so much easier to pass judgement on a man than on an idea.” - Ayn Rand
“The way you overcome shyness is to become so wrapped up in something that you forget to be afraid.” - Lady Bird Johnson
“9 Simple and Effective Public Speaking Tips for Scientists.” Scientifica, www.scientifica.uk.com/neurowire/9-simple-and-effective-public-speaking-tips-for-scientists.
“Speech Quotes (659 Quotes).” Goodreads, www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/speech.
Spencer, Laura. “15 Inspiring Public Speaking Quotes (Famous, Funny, & Fear-Reducing).” Business Envato Tuts+, 7 June 2018, business.tutsplus.com/articles/inspiring-public-speaking-quotes--cms-31207.
“Top 20 Public Speaking Quotes.” Institute of Public Speaking, 18 Dec. 2015, www.instituteofpublicspeaking.com/public-speaking-tips/top-20-public-speaking-quotes/.