By Madeline Scher.
On Monday April 15 Katina Kalin, a freelance speech and voice coach, gave a 45-minute workshop called “Effective Public Speaking for Leaders” where she spoke of essential tips to benefit our schooling and future careers.
“One way to gain confidence is to participate in class,” Kalin suggested. She also suggested that reading aloud by ourselves can help us focus on and tone our ability to pronounce words more clearly. This can also assist us to develop a steady pace so that we don’t speak too quickly.
Kalin recommended recording ourselves as a way to be aware of our own speech tendencies and understand what others hear when we speak. Asking our friends and family to point out if we say key words such as “like,” “you know,” “um” or “uh” can make us conscious of our bad habits, and teach us to slow down and think before we speak.
Kalin also provided some helpful tips that can assist us to make a greater impact on our audience. “Use powerful words and images to prevent the speech from becoming boring,” she recommended.
At the same time, we need to know our audience. Speaking to a group of children would require different vocabulary choices than those used when speaking to a CEO. Repetition emphasizes a key take away point. Pausing allows for the message to sink in. Eye contact makes people feel included.
Other reminders included being aware of our appearance. Are we well groomed? Is our attire neat, clean and appropriate?
Many of the factors that go into successful public speaking can be learned and developed. For example, if we have trouble articulating, Kalin suggested practicing with tongue twisters. If we struggle with nerves, learn the material thoroughly before the event. When we enter, walk with confidence and have good posture. Doing this, she explained, “will hide our nerves from the audience.”
Kalin defined a leader as someone who can convey a message and show conviction, determination and confidence. In order to properly lead, she said, we must first develop proper speaking skills.