By Muscle Media
The Blarney Stone is actually part of Blarney Castle in Ireland. It is believed that kissing the stone can grant you the “gift of gab”. While it may seem strange in this day and age, many have put their lips to the stone in hopes of improving the quality of their public speaking. There is a lot to know about effective communication. Many people regard public speaking as one of the most traumatic and feared chores. Some have tried to watch talk shows, listened to radio programs, or joined clubs dedicated to public speaking. As with ordinary conversation, certain rules still apply. So, the best way to start learning effective communication is to get to know the person closest to you: yourself. Here are 10 suggestions to help you along the way.
What You Know
Education is all about learning the basics. But, to be an effective speaker you need to practice what you’ve learned. Every presentation I make has taught me that we all have limitations. That doesn’t mean we can’t learn to get up and share what we know.
It’s just as important as asking questions. Sometimes listening to the sound of our own voice can teach us to be a little bit confident with ourselves and to say the things we believe in with conviction. Try recording yourself and critique your performance.
We all make mistakes. Sometimes we may slur our words, stutter, and even mispronounce certain words. So, don’t be afraid to ask if you’re saying (or using) the right word. If you are embarrassed, make a joke out of it. I promise you it’ll make everyone laugh and you can get away with it.
There’s an excellent way to help personalize your presentation. A direct, eye-catching gaze can enhance the attention of your audience. It’s important that you keep your focus when talking to a large group in a meeting or a gathering. It’s a great way to maintain contact.
A little bit of humor can do wonders to break tension or relieve boredom when making your speech. With appropriate use of humor, you’ll get the attention of the majority of the crowd. They’ll also feel that you’re approachable and as human as those listening.
Be Like Everyone Else
Interaction is all about mingling with other people. You’ll get a lot of ideas, as well as knowing what is important and makes people “tick”. “Putting on airs” is a sure way to lose your audience.
Me, Myself, and I
Admit it, there are times you sing to yourself in the shower. Listening to the sound of your own voice while you practice your speech in front of a mirror can help identify and correct problems. You can even spruce up while you’re at it!
Say It With a Smile
Just like eye contact, a smile says a lot about you. There’s no point on grimacing or frowning in a meeting or a gathering. You can better express what you’re saying when you smile. It is usually much better received!
Study A Role Model
There must be one or two people in your life you have enjoyed listening to. You may have heard them at a public gathering or maybe at church. Even though they were reading their lines, make a mental note of how they get their message across. It will help you once you take center stage.
Take additional time when preparing for your moments on the stage. Don’t just scribble notes in a hurried panic. Some people like to write things down on index cards. Others resort to acting silly as they look at notes written on the palm of their hand. Just be comfortable. Show that you enjoy your work.
These suggestions may be somewhat amateurish, but I’ve learned to practice while empowering myself for public speaking. It never hurts to get in touch with people to listen for honest feedback. Make your presentations and meetings far more enjoyable and educational.