I have always been captivated by the art of public speaking. Why is it that some individuals can articulate their words with social grace while others fear it like the plague? Mark Twain once said, "there are two types of speakers: those who get nervous and those who are liars."
According to the Washington Post, Americans possess the fear of public speaking, also known as "glossophobia" more than clowns, ghosts and zombies combined. Maybe you have felt this way: After hearing your voice over a recording you ask yourself, "do I sound like that in real life?" Spoiler alert: it’s not only the sound of your voice originating externally from your head, it is the filler words that litter your speech, the “uhs” and “ums” and “you knows,” and the favored word that circulates PR professionals, the seeking approval of “right?”
After reading Ragan's PR Daily and learning professional etiquette tips on public speaking, I have discovered there is actual rhyme and reason to why public speaking is feared. The bottom line is that it requires practice and preparation, every single time.
Here are the top two tips for young professionals on how to elevate their public speaking game:
1. Find an “uh- counter” editor.
Learn to weed out words such as “uh”, “um” and “like” in each speech. Try this at home with a friend or spouse. Train your brain to catch these filler words.
2. Become an expert on your topic.
Research from Oratory Laboratory, a company that specializes in public speeches, shows that there is no formula for a great speech. They do know, however, that each speech must be carefully crafted with thorough research in order to alleviate anxiety.
CNN "How to give a great Speech" puts it simply:
· People are afraid of the audience.
· You’re the hero of your story, when you give a speech people want you to tell the story.
· When preparing you speech, think of something that makes you excited. Frame the speech about it. Let that carry on the story.
· Frame your passion with the story.
Why is it important to communicate with clarity?
Whether it’s how you make eye contact or how you present yourself during an important interview, your always communicating. Some of the most basic examples include everyday interactions such as listening to a co-worker or friend. Here are 5 ways to improve your communication skills:
1. Be aware of your body language.
2. Don’t forget that you’re constantly communicating even when you’re not speaking words.
3. Adopt a power pose that suites your style. Great, now use it.
4. Learn how to interpret other people’s body language so you can respond appropriately.
5. Find ways to rid yourself of unnecessary conversation fillers.