ENHANCING PUBLIC SPEAKING SKILL
“On speech making,” said the 32nd President of USA, Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Be sincere; be brief; be seated.” But it is only like the tip of an ice berg. There is more to it.
Some are gifted with this skill. But that does not mean the others would not be good at it. Swami Vivekananda (actual name, Narendra Dutta) had made a historical speech on epic proportion in Chicago that electrified the audience there and made them sit glued to their seats, nearly hypnotized by his speech!
Nowadays, there are many avenues to get trained in public speaking, yet, it requires practice. Read an editorial in the newspapers or magazine, observe what is told and try to interpret it on your own. Stand before the mirror and repeat, twice, or thrice, till you can project it better.
However, as a first thing, overcome the shyness and brace yourself, be it a conference or an interview or speaking to an individual. Understand the topic well, gather all the background information about it, with facts and figures, mentally summarize them in chronological order, or jot down the main points, induct a little humour if possible, keeping in mind the time allocated for you.
Some percentage of what you speak depends on your body language. Ensure that your gesture is within limit. Quote a little true life experience of a great personality and how he or she had tackled a complex issue.
When addressing a gathering, remember the table fan’s oscillation. Let your eyes sweep over the audience from left to right and back. This way you will not skip any one. Interact directly with the audience, by putting a simple question. When questioned, keep yourself cool and answer politely, with a humorous piece. Do not laugh at your own joke. The more you are cool, the more audience and fans you can get.
Unlike the formal salutation in a letter, or like a politician addressing “ladies and gentlemen,” begin by saying “Good morning/evening everybody.” This way every individual would feel elated and take a liking in you. Once you have steered them in your favour, they would become attentive.
Modulate your voice according to the situation. A politician in TN State became very popular just because when saying a humorous piece he spoke in a husky voice, with little gestures. Quote some suitable great sayings. Avoid itsy-bitsy speeches.
Remember, the audience may be your principal or boss. Speak intelligibly. Keep the spirit of your audience alive.
To develop this skill, it is necessary that you must be an avid reader. The more you read, the more you can learn. Make sure that your words are not repetitive.
Repetition bores the gathering. Maintain the same tone till you finish, unless the situation warrants modulations. Pronounce words correctly. Some people speak with a spelling mistake!
Do not forget to thank your audience after delivering the speech. And walk back slowly and do not rush. The more you participate in the public speaking, the more popular you will become. You will gain more fans than friends.