Four daily habits for better public speaking include practice, reading up, obtaining feedback, and visualization. Doing these consistently is a surefire way to be a better public speaker.
Daily habits can go a long way in making you a better public speaker. Based on the habits we will be discussing, you’ll be able to create a daily routine for getting better at public speaking. We will first cover why public speaking matters, then we’ll dive into the habits. Then we will cover some more tips, bad habits to avoid, and lastly, how to put what we have learned into action.
Why does public speaking matter today?
It’s a skill that can be used universally across many situations for many purposes, including:
- Conveying information: Public speaking includes skills that help you convey information effectively such that it is understood. Knowing something well and communicating it well are entirely different things. Public speaking should be concise, clear, and compelling to be well-received by an audience.
- Motivating: It can help motivate people to take action. Imagine a joint training session and an experienced trainer shouting at everyone that they can do better, encouraging them to try their best. When done right, public speaking can fuel people’s inner motivations and get them to be their best selves.
- Persuading: Public speaking can also be used to persuade people. This would include persuasion towards buying certain products or services, or towards some cause. By relating your goals to people’s inner values and beliefs, you can achieve great results.
- Entertaining: It can also be used to entertain others, through jokes, toasts, etc. It can create a strong impression on others and make you the life of the party.
To know more, check out this article.
What are the habits?
The habits include practice, reading up on public speaking skills, obtaining feedback, and visualization. These are at the essence of public speaking and will definitely help you when done correctly. Creating habits does not have to be time-consuming or complicated so we have to put things concisely in a straightforward manner for easy following.
Habit 1: Practice
The most obvious and yet the most useful habit is to practice public speaking. Mirror practice can help you understand your body language and expressions right away. Alternatively, you can record yourself and analyze this video right after. This method will also give you a better idea of how you’re sounding until at some point, you’ll be much more comfortable in your own voice.
The more you’ll practice, you’ll get better at articulating ideas. Sometimes things are clear in our head but conveying it concisely to an audience is not an easy task. This becomes much easier when we do it over time and consider actively how we can improve ourselves in that process. If it’s a language you’re not familiar with, it can help increase your fluency as well.
Habit 2: Read up on public speaking skills
If you want to be continuously learning, you can read or even watch some videos that explain public speaking skills. This can be incorporated right before your practice time so you can set things into action immediately. Try not to focus on too many skills at once and take your time grasping them so you do not get overwhelmed by it.
In this learning process, you’ll be able to stay updated with current trends in public speaking (i.e., what is considered an optimal way to deliver a speech). The excellent thing about this is that it’s highly flexible and you can do it in various ways, including reading articles, watching videos (like the one below), reading books, watching movies/tv shows, and listening to podcasts/audiobooks.
Habit 3: Obtaining feedback
Even if you’re practicing on video, you may miss out on some things that could be modified to make you a better public speaker. A third person has a better chance of noticing and may have unique inputs to add as well. By receiving constructive feedback, you’re more likely to grow quickly. A coach or a mentor experienced in public speaking would be your ideal go-to for this. When not available, a friend or partner is as good an option as any.
Remember that others’ opinions are just perspectives from them and may not reflect you accurately, so there is no need to take them personally. To be able to take in constructive feedback, set aside defensiveness, and be curious why they would think so. If it does not make sense to you, that’s fine, but always consider it first.
Habit 4: Visualisation
If you’re practicing on a stage in front of people, that’s already perfect and you don’t need visualization. But if that’s not present, then you can enhance your ability to perform in the actual time by visualizing beforehand. This will help reduce anxiety related to stage fright and build confidence to perform well.
This can be done by simply closing your eyes and imagining yourself in the public speaking situation you’re practicing for in as much detail as possible. Tip: if you have been to the place before, it will be more familiar to you and hence, easier to visualize. If possible, go to that place beforehand and see how it feels.
What are some other tips that could help in public speaking?
This includes finding opportunities, connecting with others having similar goals, reminding yourself of your goal, using different methods to practice, being consistent, and finding models.
Finding opportunities to partake in public speaking
This could be at events, meetups, and celebratory occasions. Toastmasters is a great way to practice your public speaking skills as you can test it out amidst others also trying to improve their skills. It also helps enhance your communication and leadership. You can also ask family members or friends to randomly give you a speech topic to practice impromptu speeches. This is a much-needed skill because you may be required to give a speech on any occasion without preparation.
Connecting with those having similar goals
This would mean finding others who share the same passion to learn public speaking and keeping each other accountable through the journey. It facilitates motivation and keeps you engaged. Toastmasters are just one way to do this.
Reminding yourself of your goal
You can keep reminding yourself why you want to get better at public speaking until no excuse works for it. One way you can do this is to write a personally relevant goal in very concrete terms and put it up somewhere you can easily see.
Practice in different ways
Challenge yourself through your practice. You could try to keep talking without any stopping, to train yourself to think and speak at the same time. Additionally, you could try various voice modulation techniques and ways to structure your ideas and stories.
This article is focused on daily habits and so it’s highly recommended that you do it daily. Set a specific time for it so there is no “I will do it later.” Just repetitions can make a large difference, and then when you do these repetitions in a smart way, by learning new things and getting feedback, you’ll improve by leaps.
Models include people you think of as good public speakers. It could be Steve Jobs, a classmate who presents well, or anybody, who you feel you want to start modeling after. Having a goal in mind as well as someone you can mimic until you develop your own style can help a lot.
What are some bad habits that could hinder public speaking?
These do not include daily habits but bad habits more broadly:
- Leaving things to spontaneity and not practicing can lead to choking under pressure and messing up what you’re planning to say.
- Not reading up can make you clueless about ways public speaking can be done better.
- Not receiving feedback can make you clueless about what others might think of your speech.
- Lack of visualization can cause anxiety and difficulty performing on the stage.
- Ignoring body language and just focusing on speech content can make you look strange when presenting.
- Reading on stage when others are not can indicate a lack of confidence.
How can you practice public speaking daily?
You can create a SMART plan. This is a simple acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound which can help people achieve productivity in any area of their life. This is how we do this:
- Specific about what you want to accomplish and how you’re going to do it.
- Measurable outcome and steps to reach it.
- Achievable reasonably rather than unrealistic.
- Relevant goals (i.e., it is what you want to do) and the steps actually lead you there.
- The time-bound goal with a timeline on when you can expect results and how much time you will spend on achieving it.
E.g., I want to become a better public speaker such that I can articulate ideas more clearly and feel more confident on stage (Specific and Achievable). I will do this by practicing for 15 minutes every day after reading up for about 5 to 10 minutes (Measurable). This will help lead me to be a better public speaker and I have examined evidence that it works (Relevant). I must have achieved satisfactory progress by [date](Time-bound).
We covered the importance of public speaking, daily habits to get better, a few other tips in public speaking, bad habits to avoid, and how everything can be put into action. We hope this information helps you become a better public speaker.
Public speaking coaching is a fantastic way to start this journey. Do check it out to know more.