4 Ways to Be a Better Public Speaker, as Learned from Comedians
Public speaking can be scary to many people, but the best way to conquer those fears is to dive right in. You’re only going to learn to get over your stage fright and improve your public speaking by trying, failing and trying again. With more and more practice, you will learn your strengths and what successfully captivates an audience.
Comedians have mastered public speaking, as they risk utter embarrassment and being booted off stage if they are unsuccessful in their performance. Because of this, there are lessons to be learned from comedians about the art of public speaking.
1. Create a Story Your Audience Can Appreciate
Comedians target a specific group. Make sure that you have a target audience too, one you can connect with, and to whom you can give something of value.
2. Learn from People You Admire
Comedians study other comedians and their work. It’s a good idea to study other public speakers and their speeches, by watching YouTube videos for example. Things to note include speech delivery, interaction with the audience and stage presence.
3. Work the Room before Taking the Stage
Comedians work the crowd before giving a show to test out the audience, assess what subjects are appropriate and keep hecklers at bay. As a public speaker, you should also try to talk to a couple people before taking the stage to build rapport and a sense of security if things go wrong.
Note: hecklers are different for comedians than for other public speakers. These will be the ones asking questions with little significance or arguing for no reason.
Comedians work hard by studying, performing and writing as much as possible. It’s a good general rule to work hard in whatever you do, but dedicating yourself to what you do will help you produce consistent and superior material. Public speakers practice and work hard to do well.
Do you have any other tips for speaking in public?