How to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills

How to Advance Your Career

By Matt Alderton

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Like an engine, giving your career a tune-up is easy with the right tools in your toolbox. Those tools — experience, skills and knowledge — might range from writing to budgeting to data analysis to sales forecasting. Perhaps the most valuable tool for advancing your career, however, is also the most feared: public speaking.

Indeed, the podium is the ideal place from which to plot your next career move, as effective communications skills are critical to professional advancement. To conquer it, consider these 10 tips for improving your public speaking skills, courtesy of communications consultant Eileen N. Sinett, author of "Speaking that Connects":

• Begin with the end in mind.
• Know the "story" your presentation tells.
• Do not apologize or put yourself down publicly.
• Look at one person at a time rather than scanning the room.
• Commit to being in control.
• Begin your presentation with your hands in "neutral."
• Expect to influence 80 percent of your audience.
• Allow yourself to enjoy speaking publicly.
• Be authentic.

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