As a college speaker, I am asked by people all the time how they can become better public speakers. Whether you are looking to simply become a better presenter or the next hot motivational college speaker. I have two really simple steps to improve your speaking skills.
1. Find a Model–Identify someone that you consider to be a great speaker with the type of style that you would like to have. In the day and age of Youtube, it is really easy to find videos of great speakers. Watch them and study what they do. Their posture, voice tonality, pace of speech, facial gestures, everything. Take notes of exactly what the motivational speaker or other great speaker does.
2. Practice in Front of Others–This sounds difficult to pull off but it’s actually really easy to find an audience. My recommendation is that you join a public speaking group like Toastmasters (with local chapters literally everywhere) or some other group that aims to develop speaking skills through practice. This is so important. It’s really easy to look at, say, a top motivational college speaker and think that there is no way you can ever get to that level, but just remember that an insane amount of practice went into what you are seeing. Most professional college speakers have hundreds, if not thousands, of speeches under their belts. That makes a huge difference.
Now, that you have found your model and a group to practice in front of, go for it! Be sure to always keep in mind that you may not see results right away. It takes a lot of practice and hard work to become a great presenter, but it is so worth it!