I took two public speaking classes in high school, and my teacher emphasized the various ways to use your public speaking skills. To this day, I still keep that in mind, and look for ways to tie in what she taught me. In fact, I use them more than I thought I would! Public speaking is all about communication and as humans, we spend a lot of our time communicating. Here are a few ways to use your public speaking skills that I think are brilliant for improving communication.
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Whether it’s a job or college interview, there are a few ways to use your public speaking skills to your advantage. In public speaking, it’s all about playing with the audience. It shouldn’t be a rehearsed script that you spit out. And using that same mantra for interviews will help you be in the moment. It should be a pinch-ouch type of reaction that is authentic, so don’t run off into your prepared answer. Instead, make eye contact and remain confident as you talk to get the interviewer on your side.
If you have a passion and want to create awareness, then why not talk about it? I spoke about eating disorders during National Eating Disorder Awareness Week at my school last year. I prepared my speech the same way I would for a presentation. Start with a strong opening that connects you to the audience before guiding them to the points you want to address. Whatever topic it may be, you can follow that mental outline to help get your points across.
For public speaking lovers, you should check out Forensics! I did Forensics for three years and loved every minute of it. There are different categories all based around public speaking. I did Original Oratory in which I read an except from a text of my choosing. I enjoyed it because it allowed me to use my voice to bring a story to life. It taught me to play with words such as quickly reading the word “racing” or engulfing the word “swallow” so that it sounded like I swallowed the word. Neat, right?
Public speaking skills help improve your listening abilities. The speaker is both giving the talk and receiving feedback either verbal or non-verbal from the audience. We had to listen to talk after talk in my class and after a while, you knew where they were going. But being an attentive listener is key to knowing about communication. Sometimes it’s best to listen and take in what others are saying before reacting. You can then translate this skill into relationships with friends and be an active listener when they need help.
Slurring words makes it difficult to understand what is being said. And when giving a presentation in the office, it can look unprofessional. Articulate each word crisply. You may use tongue twisters to work on pronunciation. In the end, it helps get your message across clearly.
Presentations are not one-sided. Neither are relationships. The valuable aspect of public speaking skills is knowing when it’s time to talk and when it’s best to sit back and listen. Why not use this in your relationships with friends, family, and loved ones? It can facilitate more sticky conversations.
Having strong public speaking skills can make your writing more powerful. When presenting, it’s important to express concisely what you want to say. It’s easy to ramble on and lose your audience’s attention. The same goes for writing. Comb through your text to see if there is any superfluous parts and tangents that don’t add to the piece. If you find them, rework them.
It’s been a while since my last public speaking class, but the skills I learned in it follow me to date. They help with my communication, relationships, and self-expression. How do you think you can use your public speaking skills?
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