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11 Public Speaking Skills For Students

public speaking

In the 21st century, public speaking skills are more important than ever. With the rise of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, the ability to communicate clearly, concisely and persuasively is a valuable asset in both our personal and professional lives.

For students, developing strong public speaking skills can be particularly beneficial. Not only will it help them to better express themselves in class and on assignments, but it will also give them the confidence to participate more fully in group activities and discussions.

What is Public Speaking Skill?

Public speaking is the process and act of communicating information to a live audience. It involves many different elements, such as voice projection, stage presence, and the ability to engage with an audience.

Public speaking is usually done before a group of people with the intention of informing, persuading, or entertaining them (depending on the purpose of the speech). Some people think that it is only about giving speeches in front of an audience. However, public speaking can also refer to presenting in a meeting, delivering a report to your boss, or teaching a class.

Mastering public speaking skills can take time and practice, but it is ultimately rewarding. When you have public speaking skills, you will be able to confidently deliver speeches that make an impact. Whether you’re speaking to a small group or a large audience, your public speaking skills will help you to communicate effectively and get your message across.

The purpose of public speaking can be divided into four main categories:

  • To Inform: The primary purpose of this type of speech is to provide information to the audience. For example, a speech about the history of the textile industry would be classified as an informative speech.
  • To Persuade: The main purpose of this type of speech is to convince the audience to see things from your point of view. For example, a speech urging people to vote for a certain candidate would be classified as a persuasive speech.
  • To Entertain: The purpose of this type of speech is to entertain the audience. For example, a stand-up comedy routine would be classified as an entertaining speech.
  • To Commemorate: To honour or remember someone or something is the purpose of this type of speech. For example, a speech commemorating the life of a deceased loved one would be classified as a commemorative speech.

Different Types of Public Speaking

There are four main types of public speaking:

  • Impromptu Speeches: These are speeches that are given with little to no preparation. The speaker is typically given a topic to speak on and then has to come up with their speech on the spot.
  • Extemporaneous Speeches: These are speeches that are prepared in advance, but the speaker does not memorize their speech. The speaker will typically have notes or an outline to help them during their delivery.
  • Memorized Speeches: These are speeches that are memorized verbatim. The speaker will typically spend a lot of time preparing and memorizing their speech so that they can deliver it perfectly.
  • Interpretive Speeches: These are speeches where the speaker interprets a piece of literature, such as a poem or short story. The interpretation can be done through acting, storytelling, or simply reading the piece aloud.

Benefits of Public Speaking 

People may think that public speaking is only beneficial for those who are natural-born leaders or extroverts. However, this is not the case! There are many benefits of public speaking that can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of personality type.

Some of the benefits of public speaking include:

  • Improved Communication Skills: Public speaking can help you to better communicate your ideas and thoughts to others. This is because when you give a speech, you have to be clear and concise in your delivery.
  • Increased Confidence: Public speaking can help to boost your confidence levels. This is because when you give a speech, you are in control of the situation and the audience.
  • Improved Leadership Skills: Public speaking can help you to develop your leadership skills. This is because when you give a speech, you have to be able to captivate and motivate your audience.
  • Improved Organizational Skills: Public speaking can help you to better organize your thoughts and ideas. This is because when you give a speech, you have to be able to structure your thoughts in a way that is easy for the audience to follow.

There are a few key things to remember when it comes to public speaking. First, it’s important to be prepared. This means knowing your material inside and out. It also means having a clear understanding of your audience and what they’re looking for. Second, it’s important to be confident. When you’re confident in your abilities, it will show in your delivery. Third, it’s important to be engaging. This means being able to keep your audience’s attention and getting them involved in what you’re saying. Lastly, it’s important to be flexible. This means being able to adapt to different situations and audiences.

The Importance of Public Speaking for Students

Every student should develop public speaking skills for their future success. Public speaking is a critical skill for success in any field, and developing these skills early will give students a significant advantage. It allows them to communicate their ideas clearly and effectively and can help them to build confidence in their abilities.

There are many opportunities for students to practice public speaking, such as through school assemblies, presentations, debating clubs and drama groups. By taking part in these activities, students can develop their skills and confidence in front of an audience. With dedicated practice and perseverance, any student can become a confident and successful public speaker.

Also Read: 31 Miracle Morning Affirmations for Success

Here are 11 Public Speaking Skills That Every Student Should Develop:

1. Confidence 

The first step to becoming a great public speaker is developing confidence in your abilities. Confidence is essentially a feeling of self-assurance. It’s the belief that you can achieve your goals, regardless of the obstacles in your way. When it comes to public speaking, confidence is about more than just having faith in your ability to deliver a great speech. It’s also about believing that you have something valuable to say—something that your audience needs to hear. Developing confidence as a public speaker takes time and practice. 

2. Eye Contact

Eye contact is an important public speaking skill. By maintaining eye contact with your audience, you appear confident and sincere. It also helps to keep your audience engaged and focused on what you’re saying. Additionally, eye contact can help to build rapport and trust with your audience. If you seem disinterested or distracted, your audience is likely to lose interest as well. So next time you’re giving a presentation or speech, make sure to keep those eyeballs locked in!

3. Vocal Variety 

If you want to keep your audience’s attention, it’s important to use vocal variety when you’re speaking. This means varying the volume, pitch and pace of your voice to keep things interesting.

Vocal variety is important in public speaking for a few reasons. For one, it helps to keep the audience engaged. If a speaker monotones their way through a presentation, it becomes very easy for listeners to tune out. By changing the pitch, volume, and rate of their voice, a speaker can more effectively hold their audience’s attention. Additionally, vocal variety can help to convey emotion and emphasis. A well-chosen word can have far more impact when spoken with feeling than when delivered in a flat, monotone voice. Finally, vocal variety simply sounds better than speaking in a single monotone. Public speaking is an auditory experience, and varied vocal delivery makes for a more pleasant and engaging listening experience. 

4. Gestures 

Gestures are an important part of public speaking. They can help to emphasize a point, convey emotion, and add interest to a presentation. When used effectively, gestures can help to engage the audience and make a public speaker more dynamic and engaging. However, it is important to use gestures sparingly and deliberately. Too many gestures can be distracting and make a public speaker appear nervous or uncomfortable. It is also important to be aware of the nonverbal messages that gestures can send. For example, crossing one’s arms can convey defensiveness or hostility. Therefore, it is important to use gestures thoughtfully and only when they will genuinely add to a public speaking engagement. 

5. Storytelling 

Who doesn’t love a good story? Whether you’re giving a presentation at work or delivering a speech at a wedding, being able to weave a tale is a valuable public speaking skill. A good story can engage your audience, help them to understand your message, and make your talk more memorable. When choosing a story to share, look for one that is relevant to your topic and that will resonate with your audience. Once you have a story in mind, take some time to rehearse it so that you can tell it in a way that is natural and engaging. With a little practice, you’ll be surprised at how much difference storytelling can make to your public speaking.

6. Brevity 

Brevity is the art of saying what you need to say in the fewest possible words. It’s about making every word count. And it’s an essential public speaking skill. When you’re speaking in public, you don’t have time to waste. You need to get your point across quickly and efficiently. That’s why it’s important to be concise. When you’re concise, you’re focused and deliberate. You’re not rambling or going off on tangents. You’re clear and to the point. 

Conciseness is important because it keeps your audience engaged and focused on what you’re saying. It also makes you more credible and trustworthy. If you can say what you need to say in a few words, your audience will respect you for it.

7. Humor 

A little bit of humour can go a long way in making your presentation more enjoyable for both you and your audience. Just be careful not to overdo it and always err on the side of tastefulness.

8. Passion 

If you’re passionate about what you’re saying, it will come through in your delivery and engage your audience. So, if you’re not excited about your topic, it might be time to choose a different one.

9. Preparation 

As the old saying goes, “fail to prepare, prepare to fail.” Preparedness is key when it comes to public speaking. You should always have a clear understanding of what you want to say before taking the stage. This means knowing your material inside and out and being able to anticipate questions or rebuttals from your audience.

For example, if you want to give a great presentation, you need to put in the time and effort to properly prepare for it. This means having a well-thought-out plan and knowing everything that needs to be said.

10. Practice 

Whether you’re giving a presentation at work or delivering a speech at a public event, practice is the key to success. By taking the time to prepare and rehearse your remarks, you’ll be able to speak with confidence and engage your audience. In addition, practice will also help you to overcome any nervousness or anxiety about public speaking. 

So if you want to improve your public speaking skills, remember that practice makes perfect. The more you rehearse, the more confident you’ll feel when it’s time to take the stage.

11. Posture 

Public speaking is a skill that is often underrated. Many people believe that as long as they have something interesting to say, their audience will be captivated. However, the reality is that public speaking is about much more than the words you say. It’s also about how you say them. Your tone, your body language, and your posture all play a role in how your audience perceives you. And of all of these factors, posture is perhaps the most important.

When you stand up straight, you project confidence. You convey to your audience that you are comfortable with yourself and with what you’re saying. On the other hand, if you slouch or fidget, you appear nervous and unsure. Therefore, it’s crucial to maintain a good posture when speaking.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a great public speaker. Just remember that confidence is key and practice makes perfect. So, don’t be afraid to get out there and give it your best shot!