There are many ways in which to improve your public speaking skills.
Elocution, or speaking in a clear and expressive manner, is one of the best ways to begin. It is possible to practice on your own with reference books or internet sites. Another way to improve elocution is to enter a contest or take a course. Both of these methods can provide you with public speaking training and helpful hints to improve your delivery when speaking in public.
One of the most basic public speaking skills that elocution practice gives you is the ability to make your voice carry.
It is very frustrating for an audience to have to strain to hear the voice of a speaker, and this is especially important when speaking to groups in larger rooms where there may be no sound system to help make your voice reach those sitting at the back. Even just opening your mouth wider than usual can help make the sound of your voice carry much further, and elocution practice will give you other strategies.
You have probably noticed that those who speak well are quite easy to understand, and that any accent they have usually doesn't interfere with the ability to clearly follow what is being said. This is due to articulation, an important part of good elocution. Public speaking experts recommend practicing clear articulation before having to make a speech. When practicing, make sure that each word is clearly pronounced, so that there is a crisp, tightness to each word. Once you smooth the words together carefully, you will have a well-articulated speech.
One of the most important skills when speaking in public is the use of pauses.
Stressing key words, giving time for information to sink in, and using a pause for dramatic effect are just a few of the reasons why pauses are one of the more important skills to learn for giving a presentation. In addition to those reasons, carefully placed pauses are a good chance to make effective eye contact without distracting from your presentation.
If you want to improve your public speaking skills, then learning good elocution is a great way to start.
You can register for contests, or just study on your own. This is also an effective way to help reduce any public speaking phobias you may have. By concentrating on the skills that make someone a good presenter, you can in turn reduce the amount of stress you may feel during a presentation by concentrating on the skills required to do well, rather than specifically focusing on your fears.