Public speaking is normally described as any form of speaking (formal or informal) to an audience. Speeches can cover a very wide variety of topics. The goal of public speaking is usually to educate, influence or entertain the listeners. Often visual aids in the form of presentations are used to supplement the speech and make it more engaging for viewers, however this is not a necessity.
Public speaking has more than likely been around since the beginning of mankind, however the roots of modern public speaking are traced back to ancient Rome and Greece. Back then it’s main goal was to persuade others. In ancient Greece all citizens were allowed to propose and oppose laws, which resulted in the need for skilled public speakers. For this reason, speaking in public became a desired skill and started to be taught.
Nowadays public speaking is becoming more and more valuable as a skill. Chances are, most people you ask will tell you they don’t like it. They either get stage fright, nervous or too intimidated by the crowd. This in return often leads to stuttering, forgetting what they’re talking about and in general unconvincing speeches. Because of this, the ability to comfortably speak in front of an audience has become very valuable.
Public speaking has become something that everyone has to go through. From a young age students have to present in front of their classmates and this continues into university and for most people in their respective jobs.
Whether you’re a student or a business owner, improving your public speaking skills will benefit you. Some of these benefits include improved confidence, better deductive and research skills and the ability to better express and defend your opinion.
The truth is even if you don’t like public speaking or you believe you’re not good at it, at the end of the day it is a skill. And just like every skill, you can get better at it. Although some might have more natural speaking skills, anyone can become better with practice. There are certain things you can do in order to improve.
First of all, if you’re preparing to give a public speech you might want to try and write it down before that. By taking your time and writing it down, you’ll be able to organise your thoughts more clearly and remember it more easily.
Next up, overcoming the fear of speaking. Standing up in front of a crowd can be nerve wrecking for many and if you let it get to you, this can influence the quality of your speech. Start by practicing in front of family members or small groups of friends you trust.
Last but not least, practice. Just like every other skill, the more you do it, the better you’ll get. Don’t worry about making mistakes, everyone does it and you’ll only learn from them!
If you’re not confident and you feel like you could use some help, tutoring might be the solution for you. TutorExtra offers qualified tutors who are ready to help you. Prices vary between £15 - £50 an hour depending on the teacher.