HOW TO IMPROVE SPEAKING
1. Be yourself
This is the first and the most important hint on how to improve speaking: be natural besides all. No technique can be more important than naturalness. Learn, improve, progress, but when speaking, be always natural.
2. Pronounce the word very well
Pronounce completely all words.
By pronouncing correctly all sounds, the message will be better understood by listeners and the image of whom speaks will be more valuable. Do exercises to improve diction by reading any text with the finger between the teeth, trying to speak as clearly as possible.
3. Speak in good intensity
If you speak too low, people that are far from you will not understand your words and will not pay attention. Also, you should not speak so loud because, besides getting tired soon, you may let listeners nervous. Speak in an adequate pitch for each environment. However, never forget to speak with enthusiasm and thrill. If you do not seem to be interested in what you are saying, your audience will not be interested too.
4. Speak in a good speed
Do not speak too fast. If you have problems with your diction, the situation can be more serious, since nobody will understand you.
Also, do not speak too slow, with too long pauses, otherwise listeners will be bored. Use a tape recorder to better know how fast you speak and decide what your best style is.
5. Speak in a good rhythm
Alternate the speaking pitch and speed in order to reach a pleasant communication rhythm. Those who speak in a constant speed and pitch may let the audience bored, not due to the subject being presented, but due to the “tedious” way it is presented.
6. Use an adequate vocabulary
A good vocabulary may not have poor and vulgar terms, such as bad words and slangs. On the other hand, it is not recommended the use of a vocabulary full of difficult words that most of the time can not be understood. Also, avoid using the vocabulary specifically related to your profession when taking to people that are not familiar with this kind of words. By avoiding using a poor and vulgar vocabulary, not being worry about using difficult words and reserving the professional vocabulary within the same field, you will be developing a vocabulary that is simple, direct and sufficient for all ideas and thoughts.
7. Take care of grammar
A grammar mistake, depending on its severity, may impair the presentation and even damage your image. All grammar points must be correct, but essentially, review the verbs concordance and conjugation. So many people hesitate in building phrases because they have doubts about concordance or a given verb conjugation. Additionally, read more books from good authors and attentively observe how they build phrases. Reading is one of the best way to learn.
8. Have a correct posture
Keep always a good position. When speaking, try not to put the hands in the pocket, on your back, cross the arms and do not even lie down on the table, chair or counter. Leave arms naturally free above the waist line and do not gesticulate excessively. Too much gesticulation is worse than none. Distribute your body weight on both legs, and avoid concentrating the body weight on one leg or the other. It can render your positioning inelegant. Further, do not move too much from one side to the other and you stop, do not open your legs too much. Only move if you intend to get closer to the listeners or emphasize a certain information.
Do not let torso and shoulders fall. It may seem your are negligent or excessively humble. Do not also act in the opposite way, not raising your head too much or keeping your chest in rigid position. It may seem your are contemptuous and preponderant. Let your face our happy and, whenever it is possible, smile. Do not talk about happiness when your face is sad, not even talk about sadness when your face is happy. Remember: there must be coherence between what we say and what we express. When speaking, look to everyone to make sure they are listening and paying attention to your words. You have to be much more careful when reading, since in this case we are prone to look at the text all the time and forget the presence of the listeners.
9. The need of introduction, development and conclusion
Every speech, even a simple conversation or a presentation to a great audience, needs introduction, development and conclusion.
At the beginning, try to conquer the listeners by eliminating their difficulties and conquering their interest and attention. For this purpose, you may use some of the following hints:
Tell them a brief story that has a narrow relationship to your message. Stories usually call their attention and interest.
Sincerely praise the listeners.
Use a phrase that causes impact.
Say you will not take too long.
Make any reference to an author that is respected by the listeners.
Use a well humored fact, However, avoid jokes.
Suggest a meditation.
Keenly demonstrate you know the topic and has experience in it.
Take a chance to make a comment about someone in the audience or that has just spoken, or even about something the listeners are aware of.
In the introduction, you shall not:
Apology yourself for having any physical injury (flu, cold, headache, etc.) or for not being properly prepared to speak.
Ask questions when you want the answer.
Start talking about polemic subjects.
Start talking by using “clichés” or commonly used phrases. For example: Together we go for it; One swallow does not make a summer, etc.
Make references to very polemic authors.
Remember that the introduction must be brief, abstract and interdependent to the rest of the speech.
In the first part of development, prepare the theme you will approach:
Tell in a single phrase the subject to be approached. For example: “I will talk about the modern man leisure”.
Then, provide an oral historical report about said theme or suggest a problem the solution of which shall be found.
Finally, talk about the steps related to the subject you will develop. For example: if the theme were leisure, the steps could be field leisure, beach leisure and club leisure.
In the second part, develop the main topic following what was prepared. If you provided a historical report, now talk about the present time; if you suggested a problem, now give the solution; if you divided the theme, now follow the steps set.
Use comparisons, examples, statistics, testimonies, finally everything that can confirm your presentation contents. If you feel someone can object to your statements, it the right time to debate.
At the end, briefly recapitulate. In just one or two phrases, summarize what you presented.
After that, to conclude, use the same hints suggested in the introduction: praise the audience, make a reference, take a chance, a well humored fact, suggest a meditation, etc. Additionally, you may ask them to act according to your proposals. Do not bring it to an end by saying “that is what I had to say” or other poor and non-purpose ways.
10. Use emotion in your speech
Speak enthusiastically, vibrate with your message, let emotion and interest show in your words and actions. Thus, you will have the authority to make and keep your audience interested and involved with your speech.