Oratory skills and public speaking are extremely valuable skills in this era. No matter which field you are in, being a confident spokesperson will always help you achieve and succeed.
So here are some ways you can improve your oratory skills. These are simple enough to follow in an everyday routine. And being a student myself, these are some tricks and methods I have picked up over the years to improve myself as a speaker.
PARTICIPATE IN SPEAKING ACTIVITIES
One of the most effective ways to get better at something is actually doing it. There may be extempore or speech programs in your school, and that’s where you need to step up. Don’t worry and get nervous- the first few times may seem hard, but hey practice makes you perfect.
Actually going up on the stage and trying to speak in front of people will help you overcome stage fright and hence, boost your confidence.
Don’t get upset if you become nervous or if your first few performances don’t go well. No one is born an excellent orator, it comes with time and experience, and practice. You didn’t know algebra when you were born, you learned numbers first, ten addition, and so forth. The same goes with speaking. Learn and practice a little bit over time, and that will enable you to master the art.
2. BE A TEACHER
When you are learning something- whatever it may be English, history, physics, etc. try to explain it to yourself or a friend. This will not only help you to learn that concept better, but it will also polish your skill to explain things via your oratory skills. Narration is a big part of spokesmanship, and so being a teacher will help you improve.
3. WATCH AND OBSERVE OTHER SPEAKERS
Watch and observe when someone else speaks. We live in a digital age, and you have sources like YouTube at the tip of your fingers. Try watching Ted Talks or just speakers in general- the way they deliver content will teach you a lot. Observe how they take pauses, how they improvise if they forget something etc., And don’t just watch accomplished speakers, watch amateurs too. Observe your classmates in school events and competitions- you’ll learn how to improve from some of them, and from some, you’ll learn what NOT to do.
4. BE A READER
When you read more, you enhance your vocabulary and you’ll also learn how to present a concept in front of some other person. Reading gives you an idea of what should be the basic way you start a conversation and how you continue it. You can read anything- novels, online articles, the newspaper, etc. You learn from everything you read.
5. TRYING DOING IMPROMPTU SPEAKING
Oratory skills and public speaking are very useful skills to have for anybody. Personally, this is one of the things that helps the most. Just take a normal topic and try to speak about it. There are many situations where you need to speak sans-script, or maybe you forgot your lines. Practicing impromptu speaking makes you a better speaker and prepares you for such situations.
I suggest taking a random topic (preferably from someone else, like a parent or a friend- so you don’t choose a topic you’re really comfortable with), prepare a basic note list of what points you’ll present on a small piece of paper. You don’t need to write paragraphs or stuff, just bullet heads. Take one minute for this preparation. And then choose a time for which you’ll speak on that topic. Don’t take a break when you speak, just imagine you are on the stage and go with the flow.
6. HAVE A BASIC STRUCTURE IN YOUR HEAD
Whenever you speak, have a basic pattern in your head of how you’ll carry the conversation forward. Something you’re comfortable with. I have a simple structure that I usually stick to, and then make changes and play around with it as my creativity allows.
I start with an intro regarding what I speak, then start elaborating on the topic. Then I focus on some key aspects of the topic I want to throw light on. I throw in some pros and cons/ tips and suggestions, depending on what the topic is, and finally a conclusion. This is basic but you can adjust it depending on what you’re speaking, or what situation you are in.
Even if you’re hosting an event with people in it, you can start with an intro, move to questions/ things surrounding the theme, and end with a conclusion.
Once you have a basic pattern set, you can move around with it- and that way you don’t get nervous even when you don’t have a lot of material in your head.
7. HAVE FUN!
You will better your oratory skills and public speaking as long as you keep giving time to it. You’ll get better at speaking only when you get comfortable with it. Don’t get too stressed or nervous. Go with the flow and have fun in the process. Once you start to enjoy it, it will become really easy!