7 Tips to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills

How good are your public speaking skills?

Many writers are more comfortable at their keyboards than at lecterns. Many executives are more comfortable speaking one-on-one than speaking on a panel. Many authors are more comfortable writing a book than doing the book talks.

Yet good public speaking skills are essential to any career.

  • It’s the terrific conference speaker who gets the best social media coverage.
  • It’s the confident entrepreneur whose presentation brings in more business.
  • It’s the savvy lecturer who gets the job promotion.
  • It’s the articulate PR person who scores a raise .
  • It’s the author with top platform skills who gets a bigger advance on her next book.
  • Seven tips:

    1. Look for opportunities to speak. The more you do it, the better you’ll get.

    2. Not comfortable speaking in public? Turn to Toastmasters for practical advice.

    3. Write down your public speaking goals . Do you want to improve eye contact … create social media buzz … use stronger body language? Tackle one goal each time you present.

    4. Read about public speaking . You can borrow a copy of HOW TO WRITE & GIVE A SPEECH from any public library. (Make sure it’s the updated 2014 edition so you get the new information on international speeches, social media, etc.)

    5. Ask a colleague to give you one specific suggestion.

    6. Watch speeches. Take notes. See what works and what doesn’t work – then have fun figuring out why.

    7. Get public speaking tips on Twitter. I tweet regularly about #publicspeaking #speechwriting #HowToWriteAndGiveASpeech #HTWGAS #Toastmasters #presentationskills #media #coaching #socialmedia and (yes) the ubiquitous #PPT