Many people have difficulty speaking in front of an audience and still have to work on their self-confidence and communication skills. However, there is a way for everyone to learn and master the needed public speaking skills in order to become more confident, competent and persuasive when speaking in public. Here are some fundamentals of public speaking that one needs to bear in mind before he steps up to a podium.1. It is important to establish rapport with the audience by building up their interest in your words, ideas and gestures by getting their attention through creative and innovative means. Do not attempt to monopolize or squeeze their attention to your every word but try to establish a listening attitude in them by the way you stand, speak and convey your ideas. Using visual aids and audio-visual tools or telling stories and citing examples and other similar strategies could create a better interaction between the speaker and the audience as well as captivate their interest and critical thinking.
2. Effective public speaking is not simply about talking but it is more about communication. Make sure that your ideas are stated clearly and directly and ensure that your audience is directed to every thought and concept that you share to them. Do not simply try to dictate your ideas to them and leave it for them to think by themselves. Aside from being grammatically correct at all time, ensure that your audience is able to identify the right transitions and emphasis in ideas and statements that you make. It would help to make a summary of the ideas every after subtopic in order to help your audience to cope up with your train of thoughts.
3. Speak clearly and slowly and try to speak on a consistent and full volume. Avoid mumbling on phrases and try to pronounce each word well. Likewise, it is important to make constant eye contact not just with the people in front of you but to the entire audience. Try to move your focus around your audience as you go about your speech. Make sure to emphasize by stating more emphatically key sentences and finish up your speech with a strong statement that would not only wrap your ideas but likewise pose a challenge or a call to action to your audience.
4. A public speaker should sound convincing. This does not only help you become more confident while speaking, but it also helps to gain the respect and attention of your audience. Presenting evidence and facts to support your statements could be a good way to develop trust with your audience and thus communicate with them easily. However, as much as possible, avoid reading from a text or from your audio-visual presentation and be sure to inject some spontaneity into your statements.
5. The only way to build self-confidence while speaking in public is doing the right and necessary preparation. Once you know well your material, you become more confident about what your statements. It would also be easier for you to extemporize and elaborate on your ideas once you are very much familiar with your topic. Be also sure to practice speaking in front a mirror or a crowd beforehand so you could try out for yourself how you can improve on your delivery.
Finally, besides these fundamentals of public speaking, the most important thing to keep in mind when speaking in front of an audience is to have fun. When your audience would see you having a good time sharing your ideas, they would like have a great time listening to them. A career in public speaking await many people who stick to public speaking fundamentals and have learned to say things in interesting ways!