Public Speaking 101

By, 04/23/2013

Public speaking is becoming more and more of a mandatory skill in the corporate world. Honing your public speaking skills can be a great way to help develop your current career or even better prepare for a job if you’re entering the workforce. Here are a few ways to improve this integral skill:

Nothing is worse for an audience than sitting through a long, dull presentation. To help avoid this, make your points short and sweet. This is also helpful when presenting visuals, like slides—stick to key words or phrases and speak to your audience directly to explain the rest. Utilize a question and answer session at the end, if appropriate, to answer any questions the audience may have.

The same is true of your energy level. It’s easier for an audience to sit through a lively, interactive presentation than listen to someone speak in a monotone voice and read directly from a note card. Engage your audience by consistently making eye contact, moving around, or even telling a joke if the opportunity presents itself (and the occasion is appropriate).

Finally (and most importantly) … be prepared! Speeches and presentations can go more smoothly if you’re adequately prepared and comfortable with the material.