Public speaking is not just the purview of national politicians and Fortune 500 CEOs. Every person in a management position should be prepared to address a group of colleagues, clients or customers in a compelling and convincing manner. After all, an important element of effective leadership is the ability to inspire and mobilize others with nothing more than one’s words.
A few people may be born with the innate ability to remain calm, cool and collected while speaking to a crowd, but the vast majority of us have to develop the skill. Here are some tips to make you a better public speaker in 2015:
- Do your homework: Preparation and practice will increase your confidence. Know the information that you plan to present backwards and forwards, with relevant facts and figures firmly committed to memory.
- Skip the script: On the other hand, try not to become too attached to a detailed script, as it may make you seem stiff and unnatural. Inc. Magazine recommends inviting your audience to ask questions throughout your presentation, which increases engagement levels. However, this means you will need to be so comfortable with your material that you are able to jump around without losing your train of thought.
- Stand tall: Career advice website The Muse suggests assuming the “Wonder Woman pose” for two minutes shortly before you deliver a speech. This means standing with your feet widespread and pointing straight ahead, putting your hands firmly on your hips, holding your head up and squaring your shoulders. Research shows this position decreases the stress-related hormone, cortisol, and triggers the confidence-related hormone, testosterone.
Management training is key to becoming an effective executive or supervisor. Mastery Technologies’ cost-effective online courses can help you further improve your skills from the comfort of your own computer.
Check out Mastery’s courses on communication skills to help you become a better public speaker.