If you’re reading this blog post, chances are you want to improve your public speaking skills. Whether you’re looking to give a presentation at work or simply feel more comfortable talking in front of others, there are a few things you can do to up your game.
Find Your Poetic Voice
Each person, poet or not, has a unique poetic voice inside them. So, how do you find yours?
1. Read and listen as much as you can.
The best way to find it is to read as much poetry or listen to as many poetic speakers as you possibly can. Expose yourself to as many different styles and conventions as possible. This will give you a better sense of what options are out there and what might work best for you.
2. Experiment with different styles and techniques.
Once you have a good understanding of examples of poetic voices, it’s time to start experimenting. Start by speaking in as many different styles as you can think of. Try out different rhyme schemes, meters, and other poetic devices. The goal here is to find a style that feels natural for you to speak in.
3. Draw inspiration from your life experiences.
Your words should be personal and reflective of your own life experiences. After all, nobody knows you better than yourself! Use your voice as a way to explore your hopes, dreams, fears, and anything else that’s on your mind. Speaking about personal topics will help give your words an authentic voice that will resonate with your audience.
4. Be patient.
Finding this is not something that’s going to happen overnight. It’s a process that takes time, effort, and lots of practice. So don’t get discouraged if you don’t feel like you’re hitting the mark right away. It is all about trial and error. Just keep writing, and eventually, you’ll find a voice that feels right for you.
Make Eye Contact
Making eye contact can be anxiety-inducing, especially if you have stage fright or are shy. You might be wondering how to make better eye contact while speaking. Here are some steps to follow.
1. Find a balance.
If you stare at someone for too long, it can come across as creepy or uncomfortable. However, if you look away too often, it can make you appear uninterested or untrustworthy. Try to find a happy medium where you are making eye contact roughly 60-70% of the time. This will show that you are interested in what the other person has to say and that you are engaged in the conversation.
2. Make eye contact with everyone.
That is everyone in the room, not just the person you are speaking to. When you are giving a presentation or speech, it is important to make eye contact with everyone in the room, even if they are not the ones you are directly speaking to. This will help engage your audience and make them feel like they are part of the conversation.
3. Use your body language.
In addition to making eye contact, use your body language to show that you are interested in what the other person is saying. Nod your head occasionally, lean in slightly, and smile when appropriate. All of these nonverbal cues will show that you are engaged and listening to what the other person has to say.
4. Practice makes perfect.
If making eye contact is something that makes you nervous, try practicing beforehand with a friend or family member. The more you do it, the more natural it will become. Another option is to record yourself speaking and then watch the recording back afterward to see how much eye contact you made. Slowly but surely, with practice, making eye contact will become second nature!
Know Your Material Inside and Out
Learning and remembering your material can be challenging if you have a lot of information to remember or if you’re not the best at memorization. However, there are some tricks that you can use to make learning and remembering your material easier.
1. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
One of the best ways to learn and remember your material is to repeat it as often as possible. You can say it out loud, write it down, or even record yourself saying it and listen to the recording multiple times. The more you repeat the information, the more likely you are to remember it.
2. Use memory aids.
Memory aids can be anything that will help trigger your memory of the material, such as mnemonic devices, visual aids, or keywords. For example, if you’re trying to remember a list of items in chronological order, you could create a mnemonic device such as “Roy G. Biv” (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet) or “Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge” (EGBDF). Or if you’re trying to remember a complicated formula, you could create a visual aid such as a flow chart or diagram.
Public speaking can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! By following the tips outlined above—knowing your material, making eye contact, and finding your poetic voice—you’ll be well on your way to becoming a master communicator in no time. So put these tips into practice the next time you have something important to say!