i’m never going to perfect the art of speaking. And hey, neither are you. None of us hairless monkeys are. Granted, Tony Robbins, Eckhart Tolle, Jim Rohn and other well-known speakers are masters, but even they make mistakes.
Just because I can’t perfect it doesn’t mean I’m not going to try.
Hey! Take a look at The Conversation Handbook if you’ve got a chance! This blog post is still excellent, but if you’re looking for more, that book is 150 pages long and is quite a bit more polished than this article. Good luck!
There’s nothing like being able to make my sister smile with some stupid joke. My friends deserve the living, engaging stories I tell them now rather than the dry monotone that I remember having. It’s exciting that I can make new friends just by chatting them up in the minute it takes the elevator to get to my floor.
There are two major buckets you need to think about when you’re learning about speech:
- Fixing Mistakes
- Adding and Improving Skills
Start by fixing mistakes you’re making. For me, fixing just two of these mistakes accounted for an 80% improvement in my conversational skills. I realize how silly that sounds–how do I know it was 80%? Why not 81%?–but when you go through the exercises a couple of times and focus on fixing these mistakes, you leave me a comment or send me an email and tell me what improvements you saw.
I’m not hiding the most important mistakes; they’re the first two steps.
On top of working on those mistakes, I built specific speaking skills. These are humour, story telling, volume, gestures, pace, mastery topics and more. These skills aren’t the whole of speaking–a great gesture doesn’t a great speaker make, but a tap on the nose makes a story cuter, and wide arms a statement grander.
This is where great conversationalists differentiate themselves: some love deep, highly emotional conversations controlled by pace, mastery topics and story telling; some play subtle games of humour, making their friends feel like everything is an inside joke they’re included in; some make their friends feel like great conversationalists by leading conversations to the most interesting bits, punctuating points properly with volume, gestures and physicality and then backing off.
Dabble now, focus later.
TODAY I’d like to go over how to improve speaking skills with exercises, behaviours and the daily grind.
Below are 7 simple steps that I hope will benefit you greatly. I was messing around with photoshop and came out with the JPEG below (How To Improve Speaking Skills in 7 Simple Steps) because why not. There are also useful videos and I vow to answer all questions in the comments.
- Speak Clearly
- Develop Flow
- Choose Your Mastery Topics
- Become a Topic Master
- Develop Style
- Practice Daily
- Practice at Events