If you need to improve your English public speaking skills and don’t know where to start, this is the perfect guide.
The first thing you need to know is that practice makes a real difference even with a vast vocabulary and the correct pronunciation. However, we usually don’t have much time or chances to trial, so here are a few solutions to improve quickly and effectively:
Hot to improve your English speaking skills from home
1. Practice on Improspeak and meet interesting people
Improspeak is a new original social platform, you can have “unpredictable” conversations and share your passions in a community of amazing people.
All you need is a webcam and a microphone; Improspeak will match you with someone based on your shared interests, then the conversation can start.
If you don’t know what to say or struggle to find topics to talk about, Improspeak gives you fun question cards that you can both use to keep the conversation going.
Improspeak has a great way to keep moderation: after the chat, you will be able to rate your conversation buddy; this system keeps away from the community pervs and bullies.
If you want to practice your English speaking abilities while having meaningful conversations with interesting people, Improspeak is the perfect solution for you. Oh and, by the way, it’s free.
2. The Art of Public Speaking: a great audio guide
The Art of Public Speaking app contains tips, samples and quotes from great speeches you can use to practice with.
This app also contains the audiobook The Art of Public Speaking by DaleCarnegie, so you can also listen to it and have a complete guide to help you become a great public speaker!
3. Samsung #BeFearless: practice in different settings
Samsung BeFearless is a self-training VR program to practice public speaking.
It helps you improve your public speaking skills through a VR device that simulates public and environmental noises.
On Samsung BeFearless, you can choose three different settings: School, Business and Daily Life.
Each set has four levels of difficulty, where you can pick three different topics. To pass a level you have to complete and pass specific tasks based on given criteria.
Practice with a virtual audience, realistic distractions and sounds, learn how to control your stage anxiety and become a fearless public speaker!
4. Speeko: a virtual coach
Speeko works as a public speaking coach for your presentations, meetings and interviews.
You can start by recording your voice and setting a specific goal or category; Speeko gives you instant feedback on your pace, eloquence, filler words, intonation and pausing.
Once you’re done analysing the feedback, the app provides an expansive library of core speaking techniques and exercises to practice whenever you want!
2. Self talk recording: train to be a smooth talker
Everybody hates listening to their voice, we know. But this exercise allows you to make sure that you don’t make mistakes.
This system helps you get more used to listening to your pronunciation and become a more natural speaker.
You could only speak English for 30 minutes every day by using simple sentences or even reading some pages in English while recording your voice.
Remember that nobody is perfect; don’t be too hard on yourself if you make mistakes; the more you practice, the better you will become!
3. Speech shadowing: enjoy your own performance
How many times did you watch Games of Thrones? There’s no “too many times” when we talk about our favourite movie or show. You probably could repeat some scenes word by word, so what about doing it in English?
Choose your favourite scenes and play them in English with subtitles, listen to them and try to focus on the pronunciation and flow.
Focus and listen to your voice to check the differences with the movie speakers and look for pronunciation mistakes to correct. Repeat this exercise as many times as you want with different scenes to gain a wider vocabulary.
PS If your favourite show is from the UK, it’s even better!
Where to work on your English speaking skills in public
If you’re ready to practice with a real public, you should consider joining some public speaking events organisations in your city. Here’s what you can look for:
Toastmasters is an International organisation that teaches public speaking and leadership skills.
This organisation is structured in worldwide clubs you can join. Each one of them has about 20 members, and they usually meet once a week.
Every club is unique, so you can attend different ones to find the club that fits your needs before committing long-term and paying the membership fees.
Once you join a club, a mentor will guide you through your learning path and help you become a better English public speaker!
2. TEDx Talks
TEDx is a non-profit organisation that can give you a spot for having a short public talk focused on inspiring ideas and personal stories.
With an English Tedx Talk, you can cover a wide range of subjects. Your speech will usually be a 15-20 minutes performance. These talks are a great chance to practice your public speaking skills while inspiring the community with your ideas.
More or less, every major city has a Tedx group. You can contact them to ask them to participate in the next event as a public speaker.
The best tips to become a great public speaker
1. Manage anxiety
Stage Anxiety can cause your breathing to get faster, together with your heart rate; therefore, you might feel dizzy and get even more anxious in a loop because your body is literally in a fight or flight mode.
There are effective techniques that focus on breathing to help you keep calm. Try these little steps:
- Try to sit down and relax your shoulders.
- Put your hand on your belly and feel the movement as you’re breathing.
- Breathe for 4 seconds through your nose.
- Hold your breath for 4 seconds.
- Breath out for 4 seconds through your mouth.
Practice this until you feel calm again.
2. The slides are just a support for your speech
Remember that the focus should be on you and your exposition, you don’t have to write everything in the slides, and indeed, you don’t have to read every sentence on them!
The slides work as visual support for the public to follow your speech, not as a script for you to read.
3. Know your audience
Consider the occasion and who’s the target of your speech, so you can learn about it and personalise your exposition. Prepare for what’s to come.
Depending on the occasion, you might want to find related subjects to talk about, appropriate jokes or a different choice of words.
4. Pay attention to your body language
Before we say anything, we show interest and confidence with our body language. Keep eye contact with people in the public when you can.
You don’t want to look distracted or too static. Move around a bit so you can relax and keep the attention of the audience. Nod your head, smile and keep an open body language.
5. Be aware of public feedback
Pay attention to the feedback you get from your audience while you talk, and don’t be afraid of the pauses!
They’re a natural way to keep a smooth flow in your speech, so fight the urge to use word fillers and give the public the right amount of time to react.
These are the most fun, quick and practical techniques to improve your English public speaking skills in your day-to-day life; now it’s your turn! You can choose the method that fits you better or even all of them; remember to practice as much as possible and have fun!