To Improve Your Speaking Skills – Part 2
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One very important way to improve your speaking skills is to remember to treat each member of your audience as you would like to be treated. Respect the time and attention of each person to whom you are speaking. Remember that even if there are 238 people in the room listening to you, you are really having 238 one-to-one conversations.
Yes, that can be a daunting thought, but it gets easier with practice. That feeling of self-consciousness that swallows up our focus on others, in a personal conversation or in our professional presentations, is the most significant quality we have to overcome in order to achieve genuine engagement with each person in the audience.
Naturally, some people will be distracted (especially with their smart phones now) and bored, no matter how well we learn to engage. Those are not the ones to worry about, not really. Focus on the people who are actually paying attention and speak directly to them. Assuming you are speaking to a group of adults, you job does not include rounding up the strays like a school teacher.
My joint venture partner, Avish Parashar makes an excellent point when he says, “Instead of memorizing a whole speech, word-for-word (which I do NOT advise people to do) I break my speech down into 5 or so chunks, or shorter segments… This makes it easier to both practice and remember, which makes it easier to work on each piece. I don’t need to remember every word; I just need to remember what the 5 to 15 chunks are.”
That way, your notes can consist of bullet points to remind you of each topic or “chunk,” and it’s easy to stay on track and remember all your main points in order to connect and to sell your products and services.