Addressing a group of people can be a daunting task for even the most experienced speakers. This is only compounded by weak communication skills and the need to qualify assertions made during a public presentation. These factors will often lead speakers to ramble and stutter versus simply engaging an audience in a discussion. In doing so, the speaker bores his or her audience while muddling through the topic at hand. Improving public speaking skills, therefore, entails offering concise and well tooled language that conveys exactly what the speaker wants to say.
Today, our society is inundated with a slew of communication options. Fortunately, these options can still be classified as either verbal or written. Unfortunately, both classes of communication continue to have limits that depend upon how a human recipient interprets what we are trying to communicate. It is, therefore, essential for us to be more concise in what we want to communicate. This is especially true in business where details and speed determine if an effective business decision can be made, thus improved public speaking requires precision.
Anyone who has seen a political ad realizes vague, one-liners can easily distort the meaning of an issue. In the professional world, statements must always be qualified by identifying when they will be true and where they prove ineffective. Failing to do so can mislead an audience while resulting in weak or damaging policies. As such, many professionals are tempted to over qualify their statements and this can cause a speech to meander. Because a presentation needs to hold the interests of the audience and convey accurate information, balance is essential.
As such, each segment of a speech should focus on a narrowly tailored topic. Before declaring the purpose for a segment of the presentation, qualifying the assertion enough to demonstrate some validity or authority is pivotal. This helps a speaker get to the point quicker without audience members rejecting possibly controversial or uninteresting statements. Once this has been done, the rest of the speech should be used to support the assertion. Following this basic structure will help speeches sound more honest and interesting, no matter what the topic.
A speech can be as short as a couple of seconds or last for hours, yet it may never actually make a point. To craft a valuable presentation, which is tolerable to human listeners and offers meaningful remarks, a speaker must structure his or her speech properly. Like a story, the reason for the speech, i.e. the actual conclusion, matters very little so long as the speaker proves his or her views. Consequently, it is best to give up the end result as soon as possible. Keeping the listener interested by unraveling a “mystery” of why the speaker is correct must be the goal.
Meanwhile, the disadvantages of verbal communication methods, such as conversations and telephone calls, are our tendency to sloppily phrase our ideas and the lack of a readily reviewed record. Part of the reason we are so sloppy in our spoken assertions is because spoken communication involves more than just what we are saying. Both vocal inflections and body language add to conversations, thus we can communicate far more quickly than with other modes of communication. Regrettably, this also means we must be careful when speaking as poorly controlled body language can send the wrong message or we might forget to say something important.
Improving public speaking skills involves understanding what a good presentation requires and how to engage an audience. When designing a speech, it is important to balance the professional need to offer accurate statements with the human need to offer listeners an attractive speech by getting to the point as soon as possible and entertaining them. Beyond the actual structure of the speech, presentation means everything; therefore, speakers must be aware of how they are communicating their ideas. Beyond awareness, the public speaking abilities of an individual can only be improved through practice.