How To Become A Better Professional Speaker

Tips and advice for those who want to be great speakers

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Public speaking is an art and science which requires a great deal of practice. If you want to be able to command a stage and get signed to one of the major speakers bureaus, then you are going to need to become a master at your presentation skills.

There are many factors that play a pivotal role in your ability to be a great orator which include:

  • Speech delivery
  • Personality
  • Voice traits

Speech Delivery

Speech delivery is both visible and vocal, it reflects the speaker’s personality. The visible aspect pertains to his physical action. The vocal or audible part deals with his voice and the inflections and pauses make for effective penetration.

When people are listening to you on stage, one of the subtle cues they are seeing in you has to do with the speed and subtle nuances you make when presenting. This is why many of the top motivational speakers use a powerful voice and enunciate their words in a strong manner. They understand that these subtle delivery skills play a vital role in how their message is heard.

Personality Plays a Part

Personality varies with people. Some have it, others don’t, but it can be developed. Personality is nature’s way of expressing your desire to be pleasing to other people. Practice in public speaking develops your personality-and it pays to practice. Your natural delivery carries conviction, and when you are natural, you run no risk of seeming stuffy or stilted. Don’t talk too slowly-but then again don’t talk too fast. About now it’s quite likely that we are a little “out of touch,” and you think it’s contradictory to say that you should speak naturally but improve your diction.

Let me tell you of an army sergeant’s plight. Finlay was a round little man and his figure showed that he’d enjoyed too many square meals. But good “Old Fin” who was nearly 40 was so imbued with patriotism that he volunteered for Officers Training School. When the command came to “Right dress,” Finlay would line up his beer barrel bulge with the men to his right. Eyeing the front of the line, the sergeant would snap out “Fin-lay, step back”; then when he’d sight down the rear of the line, he’d shout “Finlay, step up.” Poor Finlay was handicapped by these conflicting commands day after day, but his willingness to cooperate earned him a captaincy.

The day of the somber solon is done. Yesterday’s wordy wordsmith flaunting a white mane that curled at the ends; wearing a broad-brimmed hat, a high-winged collar, showing a flowing cravat and sporting a gold-headed cane, are gone for good. In his time audiences were more impressed by what they saw than by what they heard.

The phony fellow who seeks any resemblance to that image of an old-time orator will be found out-and lose out. Local TV networks have been known to replace an ordinary looking commentator who puts personality into his spiel, with an Adonis who reads canned copy. He lasts only as long as it takes for his listeners to get their fill of nondescript delivery and stereotyped expressions.

Voice Traits

Most of us have one poor speaking voice trait or another; careless enunciation, or a dull delivery lacking in change of pitch or pace. These faults can and-to be successful-MUST be corrected, as well as any tendency toward being too garrulous or too repetitious. But currying out these burrs is a far cry from adopting a phony speaking front.

The stuttering swain who promised to meet Kkkkkkkaty at the kkkkkkkitchen door when the moon came over the cowshed, conveyed more yearning than all the pages of poetry because that was his simple and natural expression. In like manner Hoagy Carmichael’s Hoosier harvest hand who sang of a buttermilk sky painted a clearer picture of nocturnal loveliness than any gallery of artificial goo.

Your Message

Having a strong message and being a good storyteller is essential if you want to be taken seriously as a professional speaker. Just look at some of the top experts on the circuit and you will see that their entire brand is built on having this message.

Your message is important because it will set you apart from the rest of the pact. It will help people to identify you as someone not only that they can relate to, but someone who has experience that can teach them something beneficial and important.

The people in your audience want to connect with you right when you get on stage which is why most individuals begin with their background story. So make sure you have taken the time to cultivate yours and practice your elevator pitch to make sure it resonates with people.

See also: Secrets of successful public speaking

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