Five Dynamic Ways to Improve Your Speaking Success
By Norma Hollis
You are a speaker who really enjoys being on stage sharing your message. The audience loves you and wants more each time they hear you. It is clear that speaking has great possibilities for you and you want to maximize the opportunity to go as far as possible in this industry. Here are five dynamic ways you can improve your speaking skills and accelerate your success as a speaker.
Be clear about your message. Know your audience, what is it you want to tell them, and how you are going to get your message across. Some speakers try to share all of their knowledge in one speech. People will not retain the major points when they get too much detail. Focus your presentation on your most critical points. Tell the same message in different ways.
- Read your audience
Communication is a two way street. It is the exchange of information and energy. When you speak you have to be attentive to the listener. By watching your audience and connecting with them you can tell whether they understand you and are in touch with your message. Keep eye contact and be open to receive their non-verbal communication. When they are not receiving your message, make the appropriate revisions to draw them back in. Stay attentive to the audience and the audience will be attentive to you.
- Modulate your Voice
Successful speakers use their voice to their advantage. You can speak slowly to make emphasis and speak more rapidly to get an exciting message across. Lower your voice for importance, raise it for a light effect. Talk like a child when you are speaking about childlike things, make your voice more feminine or masculine to stress a gender point. Modulate your voice to get your message across.
- Walk the Talk
As the owner of a speakers bureau I’ve met many speakers who have a great message that is delivered with great sincerity and energy. Then I meet them in public and find that they do not live the life that they speak on stage. Or I might book a speaker for an event and the speaker does not show up for the engagement or does something that is totally unprofessional. A speaker should be an authentic person. If you are going to tell others how to live their life to be more successful, you should be a role model for the success you are promoting.
Nothing creates success more than practice. No matter how good you are, you will get better with practice. Just as major sports figures practice for hours upon hours, as a speaker you too need the advantage of ongoing practice. Take every opportunity to get floor time. Speak as often as possible and when you do not have a formal audience – speak to yourself in the mirror!
Norma Thompson Hollis, Founder and President of SPEAKERS ETCETERA and Black Speakers Online, coaches and promotes speakers across the country. Her website www.BlackSpeakersOnline.com hosts a comprehensive list of black speakers internationally. Her training programs and products can be seen at www.SpeakWithEaseAndConfidence.com.