We live in a high tech world with so many advantages to learn and grow our public speaking skills. Our own observations, insights and intuition can go a long way in challenging and eradicating our bad habits. It is important to act as our own critic.
Simplicity is often our best teacher. A full-length mirror can offer you a plethora of observations to develop your strengths and rid ourselves of weaknesses in public speaking. Here are three prevalent weaknesses that a new speaker uses that often goes unnoticed to our naked eye.
- The “um” habit. This nasty habit replaces the comma or periods in a sentence.
It is totally unnecessary and reduces an aspiring professional speaker to a dysfunctional verbal disaster.
The purpose of a period at the end of a sentence or a comma in a paragraph is there for a logical reason. If used properly it helps the listener understand the speaker’s message more clearly and profoundly. The trick in using this punctuation correctly is simply to pause 2-3 seconds and then continue on. Never use an “um” in a presentation. It has no purpose or meaning.
- How you stand at the podium or in front of an audience speaks volumes about your professionalism, self-confidence, credibility and success.
Standing with feet too close together puts the speaker off balance. A speaker needs the stability of their platform.
Always stand with excellent posture, with your feet placed shoulder-width apart. Toes should be pointing towards the audience. This stance gives a power position that moves from the toes to the top of the head.
- Not using our non-verbal communication skills gives a weak and boring presentation.
We need to speak with not only our voice but our hands to express the meaning of our words. Our body is our instrument. We must use all of it. Our arms, hands, fingers, feet, eyes all contribute to our platform mechanics.
Used properly, our body language can move a speaker from flat and boring to fabulous and confident.
A full-length mirror used in rehearsing your speech can guide you towards an excellent indication of your weaknesses and strengths in public speaking. Always view yourself with kindness and praise but do keep an open eye for improvement and change.
Written by Bette Elly