Vikas Jain

5 Advanced Tips to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills – Public Speakers & Leaders

Image of Vikas Jain as a Corporate Speaker @ Yamaha Dealers Meet (Kathmandu)

Public Speaking is one of the most important skills these days to achieve professional success. As a keynote speaker, I have delivered 500+ public speeches at corporate events and other institutional programs. As a leadership coach, one of my core modules is public speaking under the Top 1% Leadership Program. Below are those advanced tips to improve your public speaking skills.

  1. Control over WPM (Words Per Minute): When we deliver a speech, we should be cognizant of our words per minute. It is usually recommended to practice fewer words per minute so that the global audience can understand us. Also, we can handle our thoughts, and anxiety in a better manner. 
  2. Reduce Filler Words (Ahs and Ums): When speakers fall short of words while speaking, they tend to use filler words like Ahs, ums and repetition of words. In Jim’s case, there are considerably higher numbers of “ahs” in a minute. Below are best practices to reduce filler words per minute.
    1. By reducing Words per minute (WPM), the speaker can get more time to think of the connecting words
    2. By taking a pause instead of using filler words: This is because one of the common reasons for using filler words is that the speaker falls short of words and requires more time to form the next sentence. In those cases, instead of using filler words, try to remain silent and take a pause
  3. Presentation as Per Audience Background: The purpose of any speech is not know share what we know but to help the audience to learn more. And do achieve that one must know the background of the audience and why they are attending this session. Also, the terms usage and language of the speech should change as per the background of the audience. For example, a person from your industry would easily understand the terminologies and acronyms but a person outside your industry may not be able to understand the terms. Hence it’s important to customize the speech according to the background of the audience.
  4. Opening of the Speech:
    1. Connecting with the audience: Before starting the presentation, it’s important to build a connection with the audience. It can be done by talking about some latest news, something that you experienced recently, or something that just happened before the presentation. It can be done by simply making eye contact with the whole room which we call a sweeping view. That is to have a sweeping view from one end of the audience to another end of the audience. 
    2. Starting with Question: One can also start the speech by asking a question that is in related to the topic that you are going to cover. For example
      1. How many of you think that this topic is important?
      2. Have you experienced a certain problem (related to your topic) and want it to change?
    3. Storytelling: Another great way to start a presentation is through storytelling. Especially personal experiences with the topic have a very strong impact. Hence speaker can think of some personal story or can also include light humour. 
  5. Question (Q&A) Handling: One of the common fears of technical speakers is how to handle the questions from the audience. Below are four best practices for handling the Q&A
    1. Request to take up questions towards the end: If someone has asked a question during the presentation, instead of taking the question then and there, the speaker can always announce that questions would be entertained in the end so as not to break the flow of the presentation. 
    2. In some cases, one can convey that a further part of the presentation is going to answer your question. So let me complete my presentation first, if your question remains unanswered, we will take it up towards the end.
    3. If the speaker is not fully sure about the answer but guesses that the answer would be longer, they can convey that it might take longer to answer this question, Let’s take this offline as due to this I may not be able to cover the content that I have prepared
    4. One can say that I know the answer partially but it would be better if I get the exact answer by tomorrow and get in touch with you. This can be a polite way of saying that I don’t know the answer fully right now and require more time.

Do share your comments below about your experience with public speaking skills and what has helped you in past.

In my future post, I will be talking about handling anxiety around being a public speaker. You can share your comments below on things you like to get answered about public speaking. Also, I will be sharing the tips to become a TEDx speaker.

One comment

  1. Your all 5 tips are used to improve our public speaking
    Most of time I use much more filler words by using ur tips I reduced that and practice more
    Thankyou sir thankyou so much

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this Form To Receive Life-Changing Updates from Vikas Jain

The story of Vikas Jain in Hindi. Click here to watch motivational keynote speeches @ corporate events videos by Vikas Jain in English and Hindi.

Recent Posts