- The importance of public speaking skills
- 5 benefits of public speaking skills
- Helpful public speaking tips for students
The fear of public speaking affects a vast majority of people. You might remember the first time you gave a presentation in class.
Due to nervousness, your heartbeat might have increased, or your voice might have suddenly become unsteady. This reaction to public speaking is natural, and everyone experiences it at least once in their lifetime.
The scientific name for the fear of public speaking is ‘Glossophobia.’ It’s derived from the Greek words’ glossa’ (tongue) and ‘phobos’ (fear or dread). It’s a very common condition.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 75% of the population rank public speaking as their No1 fear. If you have fear, anxiety, and nervousness at the thought of public speaking, then you are not alone.
The good news is that there are numerous ways to improve your public speaking skills. With enough practice and dedication, you can learn how to improve your public speaking skills.
As students, you will come across several situations where you need to speak in front of a group of people. So, let us first understand why public speaking is important for students.
Importance of Public Speaking Skills
The primary purpose of public speaking is to share one’s knowledge of a topic with an audience. In class, you will be given opportunities to take up presentations and engage in classroom discussions.
You might even be evaluated and given grades based on your performance. Moreover, it builds your self-esteem and helps in your overall personal growth.
This is why improving public speaking skills is very important for students.
6 Amazing Benefits of Improving Public Speaking Skills
Now, let us learn the benefits of public speaking skills in a student’s life.
1. Improves Communication Skills
Public speaking is a form of oral communication. When you prepare for a presentation or speech, you think carefully about what you want to say.
The main objective is to communicate your message effectively to the audience. By practicing public speaking skills, you will learn how to communicate your ideas in a clear and organized manner.
This way of thinking will help you improve your communication skills in other areas of your life, including interactions with your classmates or teachers.
2. Boosts Confidence
Speaking in front of a group of people can be a very empowering experience. Public speaking requires you to connect with your audience and confidently share your ideas and opinions with everyone.
Furthermore, delivering a powerful speech helps you to overcome your nervousness and insecurities. Soon you will be able to progress from speaking in front of a small group of people to a large group of people.
Your level of confidence will gradually increase as you keep practicing your public speaking skills.
3. Enhances Your Critical Thinking Skills
It’s not easy to write a speech. In order to prepare an excellent speech, you need to keep a few things in mind – your target audience, opening statements, facts and data, and closing statements.
Additionally, you need to make sure that the overall message is conveyed to your audience. All this requires you to utilize your critical thinking capability.
4. Builds Your Leadership Skills
When speaking to an audience, you need to focus on your message and figure out ways to convey it to your audience so that it makes them think.
A leader should be able to communicate effectively with each member of the team and guide them to achieve the goal together.
5. Improves Your Vocabulary and Fluency
Improving the public speaking skills of students can automatically improve their fluency and vocabulary. This will promote better language skills.
The audience needs to understand what you are talking about. For this, you need to have clear and good pronunciation.
It’s also necessary to use simple language so that everyone in the audience can grasp the meaning easily.
In order to deliver an effective speech, you need to prepare the content well in advance. Make sure that your script follows a logical and consistent order so that it has a good flow.
Preparing the script before you give your speech will enable you to organize your thoughts in a clear-cut manner. Once you have completed the script, you can refer to it and memorize your speech.
Now that you have a basic idea about what you want to say, you will be able to give your speech without pausing or struggling for words.
6. Develops Your Listening Skills
A good speaker never misses an opportunity to learn from others. It’s no secret that we gain a lot of knowledge when we interact with others. While giving speeches, it’s essential to involve the audience as well.
Allow the audience to ask questions and interact with you. In order to respond to their questions, you need to listen attentively.
If you develop the habit of good listening skills, you will be able to give helpful answers to their questions which in turn will make you a better public speaker.
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Public Speaking Tips for Students
Some students feel that public speaking is their worst nightmare. If you feel the same, you need not worry as you can easily conquer this fear. Here are some helpful tips to help you become a pro in public speaking.
1. Prepare Beforehand
To carry out your speech or presentation successfully, you need to prepare for it. The first step is to identify the core messages that you want to talk about.
Then search for interesting data or statistics to back up your points. If you are using a power point presentation, then start structuring your content in a logical order.
Add accompanying images or video clips to make it more informative and engaging for the audience.
2. Control Your Emotions
Learn to control your emotions before they control you. It’s normal to be nervous while presenting. But that doesn’t mean that you let your emotions take over.
You can learn to overcome nervousness while public speaking. When you get nervous, remind yourself to be calm and relaxed.
Even if your voice starts to shake, continue speaking because most of the time, others don’t notice it at all! Only if you act nervous, the audience comes to know.
Even the best speakers get nervous, but the trick is to hide your nervous feelings from others.
3. Pay Attention to Your Body Language
Your gestures, facial expressions, postures, and eye movement constitute body language. It is referred to as non-verbal communication.
Body language is used to express and convey information. Your facial expressions should match with your message. It’s also important to maintain eye contact in order to connect with your audience on a deeper level.
When giving an important speech, avoid lowering your shoulders; instead, stand up straight as it will help you to feel more confident.
4. Think positively
Having a positive attitude is one of the most effective ways to overcome nervousness while public speaking. Believing in your abilities is the first step to getting over your fears.
This is how you can improve your public speaking skills. Cultivating a positive mindset can promote growth. If you fail, don’t stress about it, you can always try again.
Remember, you are competing only with yourself, so try not to compare yourself with others.
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5. Embrace Your Nervousness
Research shows that nervousness can help you perform better. People who view stressful situations as challenges, obtain energy from their nervous feelings and perform better.
When we get nervous, our body gets ready for a ‘fight or flight’ response. Our mind becomes sharp and goes into a hyper-alert state.
We have two options, either to let the pressure get to us or to embrace this feeling and perform better. The only way to get over your fear is to face it.
6. Be You
Accept who you are. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Take the time to identify your strengths and weaknesses and write them down on a piece of paper.
Now that you have a good idea about your weaknesses, you can find ways to work on them to improve your public speaking skills.
7. Seek Help from Others
Do rehearsals in front of your family and friends and ask for their feedback. They help you to pinpoint your weaknesses and let you know where you are making a mistake.
Our family and friends always have our best interests at heart and want to see us succeed. So it’s easier to take their criticism without feeling bad about it.
You can also ask your lecturers for help. They will give you advice and guide you in the right direction.
8. Practice, Practice, and More Practice!
Becoming a good public speaker doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of practice and effort. So, don’t miss the opportunities that come your way.
The only way to improve your public speaking skills and overcome nervousness is to practice it over and over again. Before you give a speech or presentation, try practicing in front of the mirror.
You can even take a video of yourself with your phone. Observe yourself carefully, and improve your posture, tone, and facial expressions accordingly.
These public speaking tips for students can go a long way in boosting your confidence. In today’s world, public speaking skills hold a lot of value.
Interviewers look for public speaking and leadership qualities among the candidates. These skills will open up many future opportunities and help you attain a higher level of excellence in your career.