EDITING : 2024.4.22 월 18:51
The Gachon Herald
Do you want to be a good speaker?Tips to improve your public speaking skills
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Updated : 2022.03.21  16:01:44
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 Presentations and public speaking can be some of the most challenging experiences a student can face, especially if they believe themselves to be a little shy or introverted.  Although it is true that some people are naturally more comfortable speaking in front of others, at the end of the day public speaking, just like most things, is a skill that can be developed with preparation and practice.  I would like to share a few of the techniques and tips that I believe are useful for students who would like to improve their confidence and performance in front of others.
 One of the first things that I always try to get students to think about is who they are. By this I mean, think about what your natural personality is, how are you with your friends and family, and what is your character? Are you serious?  Do you like to laugh and make others laugh? Are you shy?  What makes you excited?  What kind of things do you enjoy sharing your opinions about?  By answering some of these simple questions you can begin to build a short speech or presentation that you can use to find your public speaking “voice”.  Don’t try to be someone you are not.  You want to feel as comfortable with yourself as possible, because once you stand in front of others you will feel their eyes on you and the sensation of judgment can be overwhelming.
 Once you have a feel for your voice and have put together a short collection of thoughts and ideas, it is time to practice.  Begin by standing in a private space and repeat some information that you enjoy out loud over and over several times, without looking at a piece of paper.   By beginning to speak out loud in a private space about things that are important or interesting to you, you can start to feel comfortable with standing and hearing yourself project your thoughts in a louder way than you would do in a normal conversation.  This act of standing and speaking loudly can feel very unfamiliar, but it is a critical skill for public speaking, and the greater the volume, the greater the impression of confidence you will make upon your audience.  It can even seem comically loud at first, but that is ok, think of the people in the back of the room, they will need to hear you too!
 Now that you have an understanding of the style of speaker you are and have practiced speaking loudly while standing, we can add some technology to help fine tune your stage presence.  Simply use your smart phone or your computer to record a video of your short speech.  You will want to try to look into the lens of the camera as if it were the eyes of the audience members.  When you watch your video, take a good look and listen to yourself.  Are you using or over using some hand gestures and facial expressions?  Are there some words that you are repeating?  Are there filler sounds such as “um” that you are overusing?  Are you speaking too quickly, or too quietly?  As I mentioned earlier in this article, public speaking is a skill and you will need to be able to take an honest look at yourself to see where you can improve.
 Now, all of this private practice is good, but the real test comes with a live audience.  Fortunately, Gachon University offers a number of courses that allow students to practice speaking in public.  The last piece of advice I will offer is this: smile!  Remember, the audience wants you to succeed.  They will mirror any emotion that you are projecting at them.  If you look nervous, they will feel nervous for you, if you make an angry speech, they may become afraid or defensive, if your speech is heartfelt or sad, they will empathize with you.  If you smile at them, they will smile back, and that can give you all the confidence you need to do your best.

▲ Dept of. Global Language Center

Prof.Joseph Tetrick


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