1d564c58-4682-45cb-a119-5e669fde037c.jpgWhether you are speaking at a team meeting, making a formal presentation, or accepting an award, the ability to speak confidently, and be understood is important.  The good news is that public speaking skills can be learned. And with a little practice your ability to speak well in public can advance your career and open up professional opportunities For the past twenty years I have been teaching and coaching presentation skills and have discovered that anyone.. even the trembling rookie can learn how to speak well in front of an audience. With a little practice you can too.  Top 5 Practices to be a More Confident Speaker.

1. Introduction
Have a clear introduction so your audience knows what you will be talking on. Think of your introduction as the top part of a sandwich. You look at the sandwich and decide do you want to buy it?. The same is true with your introduction. Your introduction should make your audience to want to know more about your talk.

2. Internal Plan
Be clear on what you want to talk about. Have 2 or 3 key points you want to address or talk about. Are you going to inform or try to persuade someone?  The body of the talk is like the stuff in the middle of a sandwich. Just as you need to know if you are having a turkey or ham sandwich, your audience needs to know what specifically you are talking about.

3. Clear details
Address one point at a time and give the details and maybe an example. You want the details to be communicated using simple language and clear descriptions. Think of this as the sandwich details, are you putting tomatoes, mustard, or lettuce on your sandwich? Same is true with your talk. Be clear on the details.

4. Closing Conclusion
The closing or conclusion is like the bottom piece of bread of a sandwich. The bottom piece of bread helps you to make the sandwich complete. Same is true of your talk. While there are many techniques, often times the new speaker will use a summary as a way to conclude the talk. The conclusion is way for the whole talk to  seem complete.

This is so important and often overlooked. Practice, practice, practice! You must practice out loud…. not in your head. When you form the words out loud your timing and pronunciation becomes more complete. Often with my clients I will have them practice into a tape recorder, then play it back. It is easier to hear areas of the talk that need to be re-worked.