Become a better public speaker – Part 1


Rohit Chopra

Founder CEO @Zifcare

Most people dread speaking in public or on a stage. The fear of speaking before a group or audience terrifies the most courageous people. However, we need not be held hostage by this irrational fear.

Speaking in public is one of the most important skills we will ever acquire. Whether we want to present our ideas or be recognized as an expert, we have to learn how to speak in public. Here is a fool-proof list of steps to transform ourselves to a great speaker:

1) Start by clearly defining the goal

As with anything in life, it is difficult to succeed at something if we don’t know what the goal is. What is the purpose of us speaking ? Is it to inspire people ? Is it to ask for opinions ? Is it a request for social good like blood donation ? Knowing clearly what we want from the audience helps us define and design a message.

2) Simplify the message

Even the most daring ideas need to have a simple and clear message. People are overwhelmed with messaging in various forms today. An idea that cannot be understood clearly enough will not be accepted well. Complex messaging may also make the speaker look confused or arrogant. An easy way to think about this is – ‘How would this be explained to a 10th grader ?’

3) Watch the body language

Psychologists state that over 80% of our communication is non-verbal. People not only listen to the words we speak, but also watch the way we express ourselves through our body. With practice, we can learn to stand straight, avoid fidgeting and move energetically while speaking.

4) Connect with the audience

Many of the best speakers are not Harvard educated PhDs or MBAs. Being an expert is helpful, but not essential to becoming a great speaker. What is needed is connection. When we connect with people on a human level, our ideas are accepted and spread. A great way to connect with the audience is to ask for feedback or request to share their own experience on the topic under discussion. By being authentic in a world of superficial messaging, we can truly stand out.

We will continue this topic in a coming article. Till then, we can start adopting these techniques in our speaking and watch ourselves transform into an amazing speaker !

View more content by Rohit Chopra