Why “getting better in public speaking” should be your new year’s resolution
The whole concept of speaking in public sounds scary and stressful. It implies you should get in front of a group of people and speak as smoothly as you can for a reasonable time. You should not speak too long, not too short. Your speech should not be too boring, nor too dramatic. You should be credible, authentic, maybe even humorous or charismatic to get the attention of the audience and your message across. This sounds even more nerve-racking and incredibly demanding. But it should not be that difficult to become a great communicator considering that if you were born with the ability to speak, you have already a sufficient basis for public speaking 🙂
Because isn’t public speaking something we perform every day? When you ask someone where is the nearest bus stop, when you enter the doctor’s waiting room and you ask people there who was the last one, when you say “thank you” to the shop assistant, or when you speak with your colleague at the lunch break, this is all public speaking.
Public speaking is just another word for communication. And communication is the backbone of our lives. You must communicate your ideas, you must communicate to get your job, your future wife or husband, your food at the restaurant…Especially in the working world, public speaking is a fundamental skill to have and to polish. It can have an enormous impact on your career path and your level of success in your business field.
Like with all human skills, some people become great speakers with ease, some people need to practice a little bit more. But there is no doubt that we all should improve our communication competences. It does not limit only to speaking, communication is also about listening, about sharing a message that interests others, about voice variety, body language etc.
If the lines “improving communication skills” resonate with you, this year 2017 is the best one to start working on it 🙂 When looking back to events in 2016, one can observe that after a quite turbulent and surprising year, communication, leadership and dialogues will play even more vital role than before.
Now the question is how to improve.
A one-sentence resolution “I want to get better at public speaking” is promising but there is a considerable risk that your goal stays on the paper. What matters more than a goal / resolution, is your daily habit.
You may start small. For instance by saying:
- I will watch a movie and then summarize its content in 3 sentences to my friend
- I will use the first opportunity to give a company presentation
- I will listen actively to my colleague
- I will stop using repetitive or redundant words and think more before saying something
Or you can put even more effort into your practice and be active in Toastmasters club, debate association, impromptu sessions, comedy stand-ups, theatre classes, presentation skills seminars, whatever appeals to you. Related to Toastmasters club, you may consider these habits:
- I will attend meetings regularly and always take some role
- I will deliver at least 1 prepared speech in a month
- I will volunteer for improvisations on every meeting
It’s up to you which strategy you will choose to improve your communication skills. Important is what you do on a regular basis.
For the new year 2017 – may your habits help to boost your skills 🙂