We tend to think about our speaking techniques in two crucial moments. First, in the initial thrill (or dread?) that courses through our veins when we are asked to address a particular group or audience. The second occurrence usually manifests itself as a mental plea (or prayer?) seconds before we walk up to the podium.
The truth is there are ample ways to improve our skill sets when we are nowhere near the dais. Consider these tips to improve your speaking in your “off” time.
1) Start by developing a positive, personal affirmation mindset.
Announce to yourself the following – both daily and aloud.
“I am a competent and professional speaker on any topic.”
“My confidence and speaking abilities are growing stronger day by day.”
“I remain committed to the practice and preparation it takes to be the best speaker I can be!”
Confessions such as these, spoken aloud, serve to chase away the pesky negative self-talk that serves absolutely no purpose.
2) Next, calendar regular practice talks with yourself – and in front of a mirror.
While you are speaking, take note of your body language. How steadily are you breathing?
What facial expressions are you exhibiting? Do you have any nervous habits such as clearing your throat, fidgeting or using pseudo word fillers (ahem, uh, so)?
3) Lastly, request a family member, friend or a professional coach to give feedback after you privately present your words to them.
Ask them to judge you out of 5 on:
- Body Language
- Eye contact
The more you invest in off the podium improvements, the less you will have to be nervous about when the real deal comes along. These private exercises can move your professional presentations to the next level without you ever stepping on the stage!