10 Best Techniques for Mastering Virtual Speaking Skills
Whether you’re new to the public speaking world or have been in the game a long time, there’s always room to grow. As we’re all moving our businesses online with video conferencing, public speaking skills are vital for us to retain customers, boost sales, and maintain our professional image.
Luckily, there’s no such thing as a born speaker, and you can master your public speaking by learning and practicing the following ten techniques.
1. Be Passionate
Humans are hardwired to sense emotions, and your audience will know if you’re faking your interest in a topic. When you’re speaking, choose a topic that you’re passionate about, as your enthusiasm will carry through your speech and make your audience more receptive to your topic.
2. Don’t Forget Your Message
We know that it’s easy to get distracted by side points, particularly if you’ve followed our advice to speak about your passion topics. However, you can easily lose the audience by going off on tangents.
3. Use Q&A
Including time for a Q&A session at the end of your speech is a great way to get your audience engaged with the topic. In our opinion, this is one of the most underrated speaking techniques. It allows you to continue making your case while addressing questions from the audience, meaning you can solidify the topic in their head.
4. Use Visual Aids
Many speakers use PowerPoint presentations to summarise their speaking notes for the audience, and thanks to video conferencing, this is easy to do. You can even attach a link to the presentation in your video conferencing text chat, if it has that functionality, so your audience can keep a copy of the notes and follow along at home.
5. Support Your Facts
If you’re sharing facts with your audience, make sure to back them up with your sources. It’s good practice to work these into your speech, but you could also share a document with your audience via your video conferencing platform that contains all of the resources you used.
6. Tell a Story
Weaving your topic into a story is one of the best ways to keep your audience engaged, particularly if you split the story into sections that you use throughout your speech. It’s also a great way to get your audience to relate to you.
7. Slow and Steady
To ensure you’re speaking clearly, intentionally slow down your natural talking pace, and don’t forget to pause at the end of sentences to allow the audience to ‘absorb’ the information you’ve just delivered.
8. Avoid Minimising Language
Avoid using words like “just” and “sorry” or filler phrases like “um” and “like” as these can downplay the importance of your speech, look unprofessional, and make you look ill-prepared.
9. Include the Audience
Using rhetorical questions and directly addressing the audience can help keep them engaged and more receptive to your topic, particularly when you’re using video conferencing. You can even ask the audience to hold items or written words up to the camera to answer questions, depending on the size of your audience.
10. Practice Relaxation
Relaxation techniques are also an underrated technique in public speaking. Doing breathing exercises before speaking not only helps you to speak clearly but will make you look more composed on camera. Because you won’t currently be with your audience in person, you could also light your favorite scented candle to help promote calm and confidence throughout your speech.
To learn more about how to grow your business using video, register for our upcoming free event where industry expert, CEO of Slice, Chris Lorenz, will share actionable tools & tactics on how to leverage micro-content for business growth.
This article originally appeared on Medium.