I have just finished reading The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson and I found it an inspiring read. So inspiring that I am now listening to the audio version in my car too. It’s not a book about how to improve speaking skills per se, but its messages are as relevant here as in any other endeavor.
The core message is that success comes not from miraculous breakthroughs but from doing small things regularly and consistently – The little things that are easy to do but also easy not to do. That got me thinking about what small things I and my clients have done to improve speaking skills so that I can share them with you to help you progress on your own journey towards becoming a great speaker.
So here is my list. It’s not exhaustive and I’d love it if you would contribute your own ideas via the comments option below this post. Perhaps together, our tips to improve speaking skill can inspire reluctant presenters around the globe to take the plunge,
The key thing about Slight Edge actions is that they must be easy to do (and therefore also easy not to do!). You don’t have to do all of them but get started by picking one and committing to it. Here are some simple actions that are proven to improve speaking skills.
- Borrow or buy a book on public speaking and read 10 pages every day
- Join a local Toastmasters club and attend at least one meeting a month
- Say something brief in every meeting you attend
- Watch at least one TED speaker video (www.ted.com) every week
- Subscribe to and read blogs on public speaking skills
- Say yes when given the opportunity to speak or present
- Ask for specific, constructive feedback every time you speak
- Find a mentor and ask for help and advice
- Practice every speech or presentation out loud at least once before doing it for real
- Keep a speaking journal and write something new you learned about speaking or presenting every day
So if you would like to improve speaking skill pick one of these options, or create one of your own, commit to doing it every day and you will be amazed at the difference it can make.
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