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3 Top Tips for Public Speaking

I come from a family who has always emphasized the importance of public speaking skills and knowing how to communicate effectively with others. My dad is in Toastmasters, an international public speaking club, and my mom has given many presentations and public speeches for her job. Therefore, I was excited to take Public Speaking last quarter. However, when my professor announced on the first day of class that we would be giving a speech every single day, my nerves set in. Despite initial insecurities, I survived the class, learned a lot and really enjoyed it. Today I am going to be sharing with you my three most useful tips to become a better public speaker.

1. Choose a topic you are passionate about. I cannot emphasize the importance of this enough. If you are passionate about your topic, then you will be able to talk more naturally and with greater enthusiasm. This will captivate your audience’s attention.

2. Write an outline, not a word for word speech. We had two big speeches over the course of the quarter. For my first speech, I wrote a word for word speech and really struggled to maintain eye contact and look up from my notes. For my second speech, I only made an outline and practiced my speech using that. As a result, I was able to pull away from my notes and did not have to worry about memorizing a speech word for word and reciting it the same each time I presented. My speech was much more natural, free flowing and less rehearsed.

3. Practice, practice, practice. I know it is cliché, but practicing your speech makes all the difference. The more comfortable you are with your speech, the more confidently you will be able to present and the more enjoyable it will be for your audience.

I learned much more than this in the class, but those three tips are what I found to be the most important. If you are interested in learning more and developing your public speaking skills I would highly recommend taking a Public Speaking class. Elon has a lot of great options!


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