How to Build Your Public Speaking Skills While in College

build public speaking skills

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  • The ability to speak in public is a skill like any other to focus on in college.

    However, failing in public is a lot more distressing than failing in private.

    Fortunately there are innumerable ways to build your confidence in public talks or presentations.

    Whether you’re in between classes or in club meetings, look for ways to build your public speaking skills in college.

    Join Clubs

    Join clubs where you have to give presentations in front of small or large crowds. A speech or debate club is the most obvious choice to practice different forms of in-depth speaking.

    For example, a literary or reading club involves a great deal of speaking and sharing opinions about literature. Depending on your skill set and interests, you might want to join a club that lets you stretch your muscles before diving into the deep end of public speaking.

    Host Study Groups

    Many study groups are conducted over the Internet nowadays, and the other option is to host meetings in person. Either way, you need to convince a group of people to follow instructions and perform certain tasks that benefit them.

    For a virtual group, host video conferencing meetings that allow you to practice speech from any location. For example, if one of your classes asks to do a presentation, you can practice with your study group.

    Engage in Storytelling

    Storytelling is a prehistoric way of communicating that works for entertainers, politicians, teachers and college students. It’s a more interesting and engaging method of learning how to speak properly and on the spot. Most storytellers recite from memory and don’t bring many notes, so it forces you to practice your memory skills.

    Storytelling is also an effective way of learning how to engage with your audience. The storyteller has to receive good feedback from the audience to continue telling the story.

    If people are visibly bored or busy texting on their phones, there’s no need to continue talking. Storytelling teaches you how to break down the barrier between the speaker and the listeners.

    Talk More to Friends

    You don’t need a large, expanding group of friends to develop great public speaking skills. Start by talking more to one or more friends, whether you’re in a coffee shop, dorm room or outside of class.

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    Try to start every conversation and include a few, interesting openers to see how it gets their attention. Host word games and activities that give you the opportunity to practice speaking for hours on end.

    It might seem like hanging out with friends is a totally different skill set. However, public speaking and regular speaking feed into each other. The more confident you feel about making friends, the more confident you will feel talking in any setting.

    Developing a public speaking skill is a big deal to students and graduates who are going on to different industries. Every other industry requires the ability to speak well in front of a small or large crowd of coworkers, supervisors or clients.

    Make it your duty to improve this skill while you complete your studies.

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