1. Planning: Think about how important a book’s first paragraph is; if it doesn’t grab you, you’re likely going to put it down. The same principle goes for your speech: from the beginning, you need to intrigue your audience.
2. Practice: There’s a good reason that we say, “Practice makes perfect!” You simply cannot be a confident, compelling speaker without practice.
3. Engage With Your Audience: When you speak, try to engage your audience. This makes you feel less isolated as a speaker and keeps everyone involved with your message.
4. Body Language: Your body language can give your audience constant, subtle clues about your inner state. If you’re nervous, or if you don’t believe in what you’re saying, the audience can soon know. Try to stand up straight, take deep breaths, look people in the eye, and smile. Don’t lean on one leg or use gestures that feel unnatural.
5. Positive Thinking: Positive thinking can make a huge difference to the success of your communication because it helps you feel more confident.
6. Watch Recordings: Whenever possible, record your presentations and speeches. You can improve your speaking skills dramatically by watching yourself later, and then working on improving in areas that didn’t go well.