Mastering the Art of Effective Public Speaking - Part 2

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Skills of Conversation



In part 1, I covered some dos and don’ts of Public Speaking. In this article, part 2, I will cover conversation skills in Public Speaking.

Public speakers need conversation skills, whether the style of delivery require audience participation or not.

What are conversation skills in public speaking?

Conversation skills in public speaking are ways of making the audience feel they are participating in the delivery. The audience thus feel like a conversation is taking place between them, as individuals, and the speaker. If there is audience participation, the individuals present actually participate, or feel like participating. Even when there are no audience participation, a speaker’s conversational skills makes the audience feel they are very much involved in the speech delivery. In fact they feel like they are conversing with the speaker one-on-one. A public speaker with good conversational skills is very happy and eager to converse with others.


How can conversation skills be acquired and improved upon in public speaking?

There are a number of tips to help all public speakers acquire and develop conversational skills.

1.   Start with your friend and family

There is an old saying that “charity begins at home”. Conversational skills can be developed right from home, with our loved ones, with family members and friends. Uplifting and beneficial conversation can be started with these close ones, and the conversational skills will naturally go with you to your audience outside your home.

So every day, take some few minutes off watching TV, using mobile devices, being on the internet, or other activities, and really get involved in some meaningful discussions with your loved ones. Encourage others in your household to do the same. Be a good listener. Your conversation skills will naturally improve! The improvement in this vital skill comes from within. It comes from deeply caring for your audience. That is why the best place to practice, is with your loved ones and friends, since you naturally care deeply about such ones.

2.   Subject Matter is crucial

Conversation skills is improved when the subject matter is meaningful, worthwhile and of interest to your audience. Do ensure you chose your subject carefully. If a topic is thrown at you, then do a little bit if research, and try to highlight aspects of the subject matter that would be of interest to your audience. The last thing you want is to appear boring to your audience.

When delivering public speeches, it might be good idea to give a little background about you, to ease any tension in the audience. This may also make it easier for the audience to relate with you and your message.


3.   Body Language

A whole article will be dedicated to body language in the future. However, suffice to say that putting on a warm smile and a cheerful disposition helps encourage a conversational delivery.

In face-to-face public speaking it is crucial to keep a very good eye contact. This must be done moderately. Too little eye-contacts with your audience will make you appear timid, shy, less-confident and uninterested. Too much eye-contact may make you appear intrusive, daring and overconfident. You want to strike the right balance and provide your audience with the dignity they deserve. Too little or too much eye contact stifles conversational delivery.


I will address further public speaking tips in subsequent articles


Thank You,


Chuck Matthews




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