How to Learn Better Public Speaking

Michele Warg
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Public speaking is an essential part of many administrative assistant and clerical worker roles. Assistants are often called on to communicate important information to managers and other employees, and this task often requires careful preparation and practice. Learning how to perform better at public speaking is a process that typically takes some time. Like any skill, it requires practice and dedication, but it can have a great impact on your career.

Administrative assistants are likely to find themselves giving quick presentations to small groups throughout the year. You may need to explain new benefits packages after attending a session hosted by human resources or working with employees to bridge the gap between managers or executives and other workers or departments. The keys to success in public speaking include a willingness to prepare and practice. You need to ensure that your material is concise, addresses the concerns of the audience, and that you understand how to deliver it properly. Practice can help you learn these techniques, and you will likely become better as much of your delivery becomes second nature through repetition. Even Bill Gates has transformed his communication and public speaking skills with preparation and practice.

Another tip for anyone who wishes to learn to become a good public speaker is to start small. If you are still uncomfortable with moderately sized groups, try breaking up the sessions into groups of three to five members. It may take longer, but it will allow you to use more of the skills you use in everyday communication. Larger groups may pose a greater challenge if they are comprised of workers from different roles or departments in the company, making it more difficult to connect with a large and diverse audience. Starting with smaller groups in your quest to become a good public speaker can help give you the confidence you need.

Remember to request feedback from your practice audience or small group sessions. Avoid generic questions, such as how you did, but ask your audience directly if the material was clear and how you may better deliver the presentation in the future. Organizations such as Toastmasters can help provide this feedback if your only opportunity for regular practice is in a professional environment where asking for help with your public speaking skills could be viewed as potentially embarrassing or lead to confusion.

Modern administrative assistants and clerical workers need a variety of different skills to ensure their effectiveness in today's hectic business world. As time goes on, assistants who practice their public speaking skills, prepare before events, start small, and request feedback are likely to see quick and efficient growth in their ability to deliver information. Learning to speak publicly with confidence may take time, but it is often well worth the effort for executives and assistants alike.


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