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5 Steps to Become a Better Speaker

Updated on February 21, 2013

A good speaker is not just someone who can speak his/her language with proper diction, pronunciation and intonation. A good speaker is also someone who can relay his message to an audience regardless of their age and background. A good speaker may also be considered an effective speaker if he manages to convince his loudest critics with a single speech or if he manages to open people's minds after sharing his ideas.

Most importantly, a speaker is effective if he is able to spark inquiry among his audience and encourage feedback, whether negative or positive. After all, your main job, as a speaker, is to encourage feedback and an exchange of opinion or information.

If you've always wanted to improve your communication skills and become a more effective critic, orator, or even a storyteller, start with these 5 easy steps.

1. Make it personal.

The first step to becoming a better speaker is to make your speeches personal. Feel your message and understand it before attempting to share it with your audience. You can't share a message convincingly if you do not believe in your message, nor will your audience understand your message in a personal level if you do not believe in it in a personal level, as well.

Believing in your message will also help you build more arguments and create more reasonable statements. Be honest with yourself, your beliefs, and your audience if you want to succeed.

2. Write your speech and practice in a silent environment.

Silence can have powerful effects and if you want to make a masterpiece out of a simple speech, it would be best to write and practice delivering your message in a serene and silent environment. Silence has so many benefits and one of which is to encourage you to come up with moving statements and intellectual questions. When you work in a silent environment, you can easily come up with your rebuttals and form better questions.

Aside from writing your speech in a silent environment, it would also be a good idea to practice your speech alone and in a quiet place. Practicing in a quiet place allows you to think, it allows you to practice voice modulation, voice projection, and simply listening to yourself as you speak will give you an idea on how you sound.

What is the best kind of environment to be in?

According to many speakers, practicing in zen-like silence or in a quiet environment that is perfect for meditation is the best place to be in.

To create this kind of environment, you could practice in a rarely visited area, in your room at quiet hours of the day, or recreate an artificial kind of silence with speech privacy systems. These are the same machines used in banks to help accountants and financiers concentrate as they wrestle with numbers and go about their mentally-challenging work.

The concept of sound masking not only works for bankers though, even speakers who want to come up with a good defense will benefit with these tools.

3. Offer people facts as much as you can.

Public speaking involves convincing people to believe in your message, but adding factual information will help in convincing your audience even more. Your audience will understand your message best when they are presented with facts, and not just opinion.

Adding facts to your speech will also help you build the foundations of your message. When writing your speech, work on the facts first and build around it, instead of creating a "convincing" yet opinionated speech first and just adding the important details afterwards.

4. Be witty without dropping names.

People love wit, but it entertains them even more when you use wit in your speech while indirectly disagreeing with someone else's views. You don't need to insult your opponents directly or to make snark comments face to face. With a bit of wit and a good choice of words, you should be able to relay your message without using vulgarity or insult.

Many speakers have said that being witty can be difficult, but it can be learned and if you practice often, you should be able to add wit and humor into your speeches without much difficulty. One way to develop your wit is to observe impromptu comedians and see how they think of the best witty statements and jokes at the last minute.

5. Treat the audience like how you would want to be treated.

It's important to identify your target audience before making a speech but it would also be advantageous if you spoke to your target audience the same way you would like to be addressed to. It helps if sometimes, when you look at a crowd you do not treat them like a huge group of people; instead, talk to them as if you were speaking with a friend.

It's a foolproof way to develop a special kind of "closeness" with your audience. Speak to your audience the same way you would like to be spoken to: with respect, honesty, and a dab of humor.


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    • Ergonomics profile image

      Ergonomics 5 years ago from United States

      Thank you, Peachpower. Preparation is truly key, in everything, not just public speaking. I learned that the hard way, lol!

    • peachpower profile image

      peachpower 5 years ago from Florida

      I like this Hub. I am a mess when it comes to public speaking- from a chair, oh yeah, I'm all over it. From a standing position with hundreds of eyes on me? Kill me now. I loved the part about writing it out first. I think that is super important. I don't know many (exception: my older brother, Provost of Wake Forest University) that can just get up and speak beautifully. Well done.