Do you want to improve your speaking skills? Training yourself to prepare is the key! Benjamin Franklin once said, ““By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Many people simply give up and say, “That’s it! I’m not a good speaker.” Some people think they can just wing it so they say, “Let’s just go with the flow.” Sure, we need to be flexible as speakers. But we also need to come prepared. This helps us build our credibility and impart substantial information to our audience. Here are some tips on how you can train and prepare yourself to become a better speaker!
Prepare your mind.
Read books. Research. Improve your speaking skills by taking communication training programs. Plan your message and presentation. Anticipate questions and be ready with answers. If you know your topic like the palm of your hand, then that is one thing less to worry about. You can instead focus on connecting with your audience. More importantly, the audience can sense when a speaker is prepared to talk about his or her topic. If they know that he or she is truly prepared, they believe what he or she is saying. That is your goal as a speaker — to let your audience see what you can see!
Prepare your body.
While you may not need to run or do strenuous physical activity to speak, you still need your body to be able to communicate and connect with your audience. If you are feeling unwell during your speaking engagement, it would also affect you mentally. It is a domino effect. Thus, before your meeting or presentation, get a good night’s sleep. Avoid food that may irritate your throat. Stay hydrated so your throat won’t dry up. Rest your voice for your big day.
Prepare your outfit.
Studies show that it only takes a tenth of a second for people to form their perception of a stranger from their face! Thus, carefully plan your outfit as it affects the audience’s perception of you. Ask yourself now how you want to be perceived? Do you want to be seen as confident, assertive, friendly, or authoritative? Then choose your outfit accordingly! You may also consult image consultants to help you plan your look. In addition, when you look good, you feel good! Again, it is simply a domino effect.
Prepare your inner self.
Speaking requires 100% of you. If you are distracted, the audience notices. If you are bothered by something, you would not be able to focus on your message and audience. Hence, preparing your inner self is important. Whatever is happening on the inside is reflected on the outside. Nervousness can be manifested through fillers, mannerisms, mispronunciation among many others. To prepare your inner self, pray, and/or meditate. Quiet your mind. As you speak, focus on the present moment. Be there 100%.
Prepare for success.
Speaking can really be nerve-wracking. But many of us worry so much about the negative things that may happen that we do not see the positive things that may come out from speaking. Remember that your audience wants you to succeed. They want to learn from you. They want to gain something from your presentation or speech. Your success is their success and vice versa!
To become a better speaker, prepare yourself. Never tell yourself that there is no more room for improvement or that you can wing it. NO ONE can wing it, not even professional speakers such as I. Speakers do not become great overnight. On the contrary, the greatest speakers have prepared all their lives.
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