Public speaking: The best ten speaking and diction tips. Speaking is one of the essential skills of the human being to communicate. It is so important that today there are many languages (verbal and non-verbal) for people to communicate with each other.
Likewise, all people must know how to communicate correctly and clearly to ensure that their interlocutors fully understand the message they are trying to convey. For this reason, in this article, you will learn the best ten diction and public speaking tips to optimize your communication skills.
But first, what are diction and oratory?
Public speaking is recognized as the ability to speak, create speeches from scratch, formulate sentences with logical meaning and communicate them in such a way that your interlocutors understand the message you want to convey. It is a skill that, to a greater or lesser degree, all of us develop throughout our lives.
To have “good public speaking,” it is necessary that people have extensive knowledge of general culture, adapt to the environment in which they are, speak accurately and directly, and have good diction.
Diction itself has a lot to do with the correct pronunciation of words. It is a skill that goes hand in hand with public speaking because, by not saying the words correctly, you can get the message wrong, and other people can misinterpret the message you want to convey.
In this sense, you must take charge of developing your diction skills to ensure that the people who listen to you accurately receive the message and understand what you want to say.
How do I know if I have excellent or lousy diction?
Here, we will show you a list of some of the most frequent characteristic weaknesses of people who practice lousy diction:
- Wrong tone of voice.
- Incorrect speed of speech.
- False air control when speaking.
If you want to know if you have lousy diction, study if you meet any of these weaknesses when talking to other people and work every day to improve them.
What advantages do I get from developing my public speaking skills?
The power of oratory is immense: with its handling, we can convince our audience or interlocutor, persuade them, and entertain or move them. Eloquence is essential to public speaking and undoubtedly the key to public speaking, an ability with which you achieve a fluent, elegant and convincing speech.
With eloquence, empathy awakens in our audience, which will connect with us and our message. Knowing how to express yourself to other people is an essential tool in professional performance in any sector.
But oratory goes far beyond words: it is not just talking. It is communicating and we do this through other equally valuable elements such as intonation, gestures, gaze, body posture, etc. Mastering them will facilitate the presentation of our ideas in a reasoned way before others. The technique of oratory operates at the margin of the subject we try, the situation in which we find ourselves, or the partner we have in front.
Among its most relevant advantages, we can highlight:
More self-confidence and security
Overcoming the fears and insecurities that speaking in public causes us builds self-confidence. In addition, practicing speaking involves a continuous improvement of oral communication skills and security will increase, and so will personal satisfaction.
Better communication and language skills
Oratory will make us more effective in mastering the times, pauses, intonation, rhythm, articulation, etc. We will develop an effective speech, with a rich and fluid vocabulary, without taglines or commonplaces. This will also allow us to improvise and deal with any situation in which we ask to speak in public, manage stress, and keep calm.
Improve research skills
Prior research is essential to present a topic in public successfully. This will force us to look for credible and relevant sources. Having quality information will also help us make more appropriate decisions.
Power deductive reasoning
Oratory forces us from a premise and moves towards a conclusion based on the information obtained during the investigation. It is a helpful type of reasoning in both personal and professional life. In addition, it is accompanied by critical thinking, which allows us to build an interesting speech that persuades our audience.
Mastering public speaking will allow us to transmit our ideas and those of others. Doing it fluently and clearly and persuading the audience is one of the critical leadership skills vital to driving change. Likewise, defending our ideas before an audience of many people already causes a change and will make it easier for us to implement more.
Helps establish professional contacts
Speaking in public awakens interest in those who listen to us about our message and ourselves. Thus, public speaking allows us to create links with other professionals and speakers.
Why is knowledge of public speaking so necessary?
Today, preparing for public speaking is essential for success and an excellent professional reputation. Expressing ideas correctly, communicating confidence and enthusiasm, persuading and influencing others is much more valuable than knowledge. They are the pillars of effective and successful leadership, based on prestige, influence, and the ability to motivate others.
In addition, how we express ourselves will determine how our colleagues and superiors judge and value us. Mastering the art of public speaking can open up career opportunities and enhancements, allowing us to excel at meetings and events and advance our careers.
How can I develop my speaking and diction skills?
Here are some tips that can go a long way in improving your diction and speaking:
1. Vocalization, omission of letters, and other diction problems
Bad speaking habits accumulate from childhood, which is why it is so challenging to improve diction. If you misuse terms and expressions, drag consonants, change words by omitting the sound of some phonemes, practice monotonous sounds with absence or distort some phonemes, etc., make sure to improve your diction.
2. Watch the speed of your words, Public speaking
To improve your diction skills, you must consider the speed of what you say. Learning to speak slowly can be the first step. Too quickly can cause problems in communication. However, slow speech should never be synonymous with monotony or boredom.
3. Don’t suffocate! Watch your breath
Your lungs need air. Don’t try to speak running. Breathing correctly can avoid useless fatigue. In addition, learning to live perfectly is a “difficult” and “time-consuming” task, so you should start putting this exercise into practice once and for all.
4. Don’t lose your native accent, Public speaking
Diction has nothing to do with your accent. Each language has its linguistic variants, and people don’t have to hide them. Accents are a personal matter and culture. If a person wants to eliminate it from their diction, they cannot do so, but they should not take it as an obligation.
5. Authenticity and self-assurance, Public speaking
Being ‘real’ and avoiding nerves are two significant points to keep in mind. Believe it or not, self-confidence links directly to diction.
6. Get familiar with space, Public speaking
One factor that most influences the appearance of stage fright, in people who have to speak in public is the resignation of the space where they will have to talk. To avoid that this affects you negatively, you must try to familiarize yourself with the area so that you get an idea of what you are facing and you can adjust your skills to that reality.
Try to arrive at least two hours before the place, do sound tests if you use a microphone, and try to project the visual material you will use to make sure that it is seen from all angles. Arriving earlier will also help you know how much you should project your voice and correct any mishap that may occur.
7. Know your audience, Public speaking
This advice has two modalities: knowing what type of audience you will have to speak to, and the other is to create a link with them before the presentation begins. In the first aspect, it is necessary to know if all your audience is professional in the area about which you will speak or knowledgeable. If so, you can use technical language without problems, but otherwise, try to make the talk more enjoyable than everyone understands.
In the second model, we advise you to greet everyone present before the talk begins and take the time to talk with them for a few minutes. This will help you create a friendlier bond with your audience, making you feel less intimidated than talking to many strangers.
8. Take the necessary breaks, Public speaking
If stage fright is the main enemy of the orator, the lack of pauses when speaking is the other evil henchman. When an exhibitor speaks too quickly, the results are usually counterproductive for two reasons: first, because the audience does not understand anything you say and will leave the room with a vague concept of you; the second, because if you do not take breaks, you do not have time to breathe and you will run out of air at all times, which can increase your stress levels.
9. Modulate and project
The secret of a good speech is to modulate and project since, in this way, you guarantee the message is transmitted efficiently and that everyone who hears it can understand it. To modulate, you need not only to speak slowly but to pronounce all the syllables correctly; a common mistake made by speakers is ignoring the “S” at the end of words or mispronouncing the “R” or “V.”
To better project your tone of voice, which is necessary to ensure that the message reaches every corner of the room, you need to do breathing exercises. Also, try to give yourself a space to listen to yourself and thus detect in advance if you speak too low, or if on the contrary, you are shouting.
Finally, we advise you to make your speech more dynamic and participatory. Interacting with the public will help you break the monotony of speech.
Now that you know the best ten tips for diction and public speaking, you can start making transcendental speeches and presentations in your work to guarantee your professional success.