As your speaking becomes clearer, you will feel more confident interacting with others. This self-assuredness may positively impact other areas of your life, perhaps personally, likely professionally.
However, are you confident in your public speaking skills and presenting skills? These skills are very important in your professional life, yet many people report they avoid public speaking because they doubt their abilities. Unfortunately, this is a poor choice for your career. Here are a few statistics.
Surprising Statistics about Public Speaking
- A fear of public speaking cuts wages by 10 per cent
- Those who fear public speaking have a 15 per cent less chance of being promoted to management.
- How you present your information matters more than what you are saying. Your voice amounts to 38 per cent of the impression you give, and your nonverbal communication is 55 per cent of your impression. How factual your information is lands third on the list of importance with 7 per cent.
- Presenting facts and figures creatively boosts audience recollection by 20 per cent.
Since being comfortable and confident in public speaking can provide such positive outcomes for you, working on the skill is a massive part of your success.
One key component in building confidence is learning how to train your voice to sound natural as you speak. Many people say they do not like the sound of their voice when they hear it recorded. To assist you with this, we incorporate the following voice training techniques into our program:
- Voice projection
- Breath support
- Adding colour to your speech
After working with these vocal training techniques, numerous students mentioned they were much more comfortable speaking in public.
A successful author who has been self-conscious about her voice most of her life, Beth offers high praise for the impact of the voice training from Speak More Clearly on her life.
“This course has been transformative for me. Presented in bite-sized chunks that feel manageable rather than overwhelming, I learnt how to use my breath to support my voice and utilize forward resonance to give more power to my speech.
For someone who has been very self-conscious about the way I speak, I’m feeling as though this course has given me the confidence to continue practising and developing my everyday speech and a toolkit to support me in public speaking. With just 10-15 minutes of practice a few times a week, I started noticing a difference within a couple of weeks of commencing the course. I felt more comfortable doing this self-paced learning without worrying about judgement from a private coach. It’s excellent value for money and a valuable resource I can return to as needed. I would recommend this course to anyone who would like to improve their quality of speech and confidence. It has helped me to fall in love with speaking again, rather than avoiding it.”
Kevin is an accomplished international speaker who learned the importance of breath supporting his voice and resonance while speaking. In one of his first computer demonstrations, before noted scientists, the computer crashed, and his demonstration was impossible. He had no choice but to take a very deep breath and talk without his visual aids. He was surprised by the depth of his voice. He achieved this by breathing deeply and accessing his chest cavity resonance. While it was unintended, he learned how to improve his speaking skills.
Three Public Speaking Tips
Using these tips can help your words land well and increase your confidence whether you are speaking in front of a small meeting or an auditorium full of people.
1. Have Your Words Land Well
Try this exercise using a few sentences from your presentation when you are at home.
- Place a chair close to you. Then, as you say a sentence, look at the chair and point with a strong arm movement at the chair (‘person listening’). Do not get louder than you would normally speak in the situation. Notice how what you said was powerfully directed to the spot you pointed at. Your intent and speech followed and were placed where you directed them.
- This also keeps you busy ‘placing your words’ and not worrying about what you sound like, which will increase confidence considerably.
- Continue to practise placing your thoughts and words to ‘land’ for listeners further away. If needed, you can place chairs in the 2nd, 3rd, etc. rows as props.
- Next, do the same activity without pointing. Continue to direct your words as you did before, and have them ‘land’ because now you have the physical idea of this.
2. Eye Contact
Because each person in your audience listens to you as an individual, the best way to connect to them is as individuals.
To do this, make continued eye contact with one person per thought. Each thought is about one sentence. Focusing on one person at a time makes each person in the room feel like you are talking just to them.
You need to practice this, and as you do, it will make you less nervous. It is far easier (and more effective) to pretend to have a series of one-on-one conversations than it is to speak to everyone all at once.
Don’t forget to look at the people sitting at the room’s side and back sections. You want to bring them in to feel connected as well.
3. Remember, it is Not About You
As the speaker, you are there to present something to your audience. You must identify your role (lead, inspire, inform) and give this to those assembled to hear you. Keep the fact that none of the presentations is about you but that you are a facilitator of information in mind. This will help you focus on what you are sharing, and you will be less nervous.