For many students, one of the scariest assignments public speaking in front of the class. Whether you’re presenting your project or giving a speech, it can cause anxiety and major stress. As scary as it may be, being a good public speaker is a great trait to have, not only for your high school and college days, but for your future career. Here are some of our tips to improve your skills.
1. Practice… over and over again
It might seem simple, but the best way to get better at public speaking is to practice as much as possible. Practice to yourself in the mirror and go over your speech points until they are practically memorized. Use a video camera or voice recorder and record your presentation; play it back to find out where you could do better.
2. Get feedback
Find a friend or family member who you trust, and act as if they are your audience. They can give you some pointers on where you can improve. Remember, it might be hard to take criticism, but it’s the only way to get better. Your friend may see something that you didn’t notice.
3. Use notecards.
Instead of reading your speech word for word, write the main points down on notecards. Reading the document aloud is not engaging and can bore your audience. You don’t even need complete sentences, just a few talking points.
4.Remember to make eye contact.
One of the best ways to appear prepared and confident in what you are presenting is to make eye contact with your audience. Remember to look at all sides of the room to make each member of the audience feel like they are connected to you.
5. Talk slowly and clearly
When you’re nervous, it’s easy to start speaking too quickly or mumbling. Speak loudly, clearly, and keep your rhythm slow and steady. As you practice, keep these three points in mind. Work on your enunciation, and take breaths to keep your pace on par.
Best of luck!
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