Public Speaking Classes Demystified: 11 Expert Tips to Command the Stage with Clarity, Confidence & ConvictionJuly 3, 2023 2023-07-03 21:59
Public Speaking Classes Demystified: 11 Expert Tips to Command the Stage with Clarity, Confidence & Conviction
Public Speaking Classes Demystified: 11 Expert Tips to Command the Stage with Clarity, Confidence & Conviction
Public speaking is statistically one of the most common fears amongst people. However, it’s an essential skill in all aspects of life. From presentations at work to social engagements and conversations, effective communication can help to open doors, inspire others and of course, lead to personal and professional growth. Let’s dive into some key strategies from our team of public speaking class experts to help you conquer the fear and command the stage with clarity, confidence and conviction.
Understanding the Art of Public Speaking
Why Public Speaking is a Critical Skill
Whether you’re pitching a new business idea, delivering a wedding toast or advocating for a cause close to your heart, public speaking as a skill enables you to express your ideas clearly and persuade your audience (if needed). It’s a key skill that can help boost your career, strengthen your relationships and improve your self-confidence.
Tip: Begin journaling your daily interactions and speeches, noting when and where your public speaking skills were useful. This can help you realise the prevalence and importance of public speaking in your day-to-day life.
Common Misconceptions About Public Speaking
Lots of people believe that effective public speaking is a talent that we are born with. But, in reality, it’s something that can be learned and improved over time with regular practice, both via self-taught methods and from a public speaking class. Although some nervousness around it is normal, it’s not an indicator of failure or an insurmountable barrier.
Exercise: Create a list of your personal fears or misconceptions about public speaking or communication in general. Then, challenge each one with evidence or reasoning which you can easily find via Google.com. This activity can help debunk myths and reduce your anxieties about speaking in public.
Expert Tips From Our Public Speaking Class Experts
Mastering the Art of Storytelling
Stories can help you connect with your audience on a deep, emotional level. They can make your speech more engaging and memorable, particularly if you use techniques such as the Rule of Three. The first step is to learn how to weave personal anecdotes and relevant narratives into your speeches in order to drive your points home.
Trick: Use the “STAR” method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your stories. This helps ensure that your narratives are engaging, relevant to your audience, and drive home your points efficiently.
Body Language & Why it Matters
The words that you choose to use account for 7% of your communication but your body language can help strengthen or weaken your message. You must understand how to use gestures, facial expressions and your posture effectively which can all significantly enhance your communication skills.
Exercise: Record a video of yourself delivering a speech, either using your computer, mobile phone or other device. Watch it with the sound off initially and observe your body language. Do your gestures and expressions align with your message? If not, why? Make a note of these observations and this will be your starting point for your development.
How to Effectively Engage Your Audience
Keeping your audience engaged is always going to be crucial. Techniques such as rhetorical questions, pausing (such as pauses for emphasis) and incorporating light humour into your speech can help make it far more captivating and impactful.
Tip: Try the “one idea per slide” rule when preparing your presentations. This ensures your audience is able to follow along and remain engaged, without being overwhelmed by too much information all at once.
Techniques to Help Manage Stage Fright
Stage fright or nerves is common and it can be managed. Utilise tools such as deep breathing, visualisation techniques and thorough preparation to help reduce your anxiety and boost your confidence. But don’t over practice – we also advise clients to practise a maximum of three times!
Trick: Try the “power pose” before your presentation or speech (but don’t do it during!). Stand tall with your hands on your hips, like a superhero, for two whole minutes. You would be surprised – this can help boost your confidence and reduce stress!
Practising Public Speaking
Tips for Effective Public Speaking Practice
Remember the adage “practice makes perfect”! Regular practice, recording yourself and also reviewing your performance afterwards can significantly improve your public speaking skills.
Exercise: Use a mirror or record yourself using a camera when you practise your speech. This will allow you to see and correct any distracting or disengaging mannerisms or non-verbal cues.
The Role of Feedback in Improvement
Constructive feedback is a powerful tool for improvement, but make sure it is just that – constructive. Consider practising in front of a trusted friend or colleague who can provide useful insights and suggestions for improvement.
Tip: When seeking feedback from others, always ask for specific examples of what you did well and the areas where you could improve. Remember, broad feedback can be hard to act upon and action.
How to Apply Public Speaking Skills in Everyday Life
One of the big misconceptions out there is that public speaking skills are just for “public speakers” on stage. But they can actually enhance your day-to-day communication at work, in social situations and even in your personal relationships.
Trick: Treat day-to-day interactions as mini-speeches! Whether you’re contributing in a meeting at work or talking to a friend in the pub, focus on your clarity of speech, brevity in delivery, and impact.
Lifelong Learning in Public Speaking
Like any other skills, public speaking requires ongoing learning and practice. Stay curious, seek as many opportunities as you can to speak and always strive to build on the skills you have already acquired.
Tip: Subscribe to podcasts, follow YouTube channels, or read plenty of blogs focused on public speaking. Having regular exposure to tips and tricks will keep your skills sharp and up-to-date!
The Value of Public Speaking Classes in Your Journey
Public speaking classes, which are either customised to you personally or in more of a structured group format, can provide a supportive environment for your learning and development. A public speaking class offers expert guidance, and can equip you with a toolkit of techniques to become a more confident, clear and effective communicator.
Exercise: Take some time on your public speaking journey so far. Write down areas where you feel that you’ve improved and any areas that you’re still struggling with. This can help identify key areas of focus for when you join a public speaking class or group.
Public speaking is an adventure of personal growth and continuous development. With the tips and strategies above in your arsenal, you are well on your way to becoming a confident and captivating speaker. Remember, every great speaker was once a beginner. You must start where you are, use what you have and keep striving for progress, not perfection!
Finding the Right Public Speaking Class
Deciding to join a public speaking class is your first step to starting your speech development journey. The second step (and some would, the most important step) is to find the RIGHT public speaking class.
There are a number of different options out there when it comes to public speaking classes. From online courses to in-person workshops, there is an abundance of opportunities for you to develop your skills further. However, not all classes are created equal and it’s crucial that you select a programme that aligns with your goals, needs and learning style.
As the UK’s leading elocution company, we have designed our programmes with one primary objective: to empower you to communicate with clarity, confidence and conviction.
Aside from our sell-out national events, we offer both coached and non-coached options when it comes to public speaking classes. For those who need more of a tailored option, we offer both 1:1 and group options; whereas, for those who want more of a supported self-taught option, we offer a number of online memberships.
Tailored to Your Needs
For those wanting more of a 1:1 and/or group approach, we will always start the process with an initial Voice Assessment. This is a two-part process that allows us to identify the key areas of focus for your programme. From this, we build your programme roadmap which is constantly updated based on your progress as the weeks go by. We regularly catch up with clients via Monthly Review Calls as well as via our live chat facility on the Academy.
Our team of experts are always on hand supporting clients, whether this is via a Google Meet, live chat, phone call or email exchange. Our coaching team brings a wealth of practical experience to the table and undergo extensive training in the Percy-Smith Method™. They’re not just coaches; they’re mentors who are constantly committed to guiding you every step of the way, providing feedback and actionable advice to propel you forwards and towards your public speaking goals.
From over a decade of experience, we have built a platform that delivers on the client experience front, time and time again. We believe in the power of experiential learning – our classes aren’t just endless lectures and theoretical knowledge; instead, we focus on practice exercises, real-time feedback and of course, hands-on practice. You’ll be speaking from day one and working towards clearer and more confident speech as the days pass.
We are very much aware that public speaking is a journey of continuous improvement. Our team is always on hand to give you the best advice and feedback possible. Our Community is a hub for clients, both through peer-to-peer engagement as well as wealth of resources to aid your development. We are committed to ensuring your long-term development and success as a client.
We’re proud to help more than 1000 people each year enhance their speaking skills through our online courses, coaching programme and national workshops. Our alumni include successful entrepreneurs, corporate leaders and inspiring individuals from all walks of life. They have seen, firsthand, the transformative power of effective communication. So much so, we’re confident that you will too.
When picking and choosing a public speaking class, it’s essential to consider the following factors: customisation, expertise, practicality, support and proven results. At The Elocution Coach, we deliver on all of these fronts and our mission is to equip you with the skills, tools and confidence to command any stage, engage any audience and make your voice heard amongst a sea of voices.
Thinking of joining one of our programmes? Click here to find out more.