An orator, by definition, is a public speaker who is known for his or her eloquence and speaking skills. You might wonder in this day and age of texting and emails if oratory skills even matter. But whether it is in Zoom meetings, college presentations, or Instagram videos, oratory skills remain extremely relevant to professional and personal success.
Being a good orator is one of the hallmarks of a good leader. An oratorical speech has the power to improve your standing among your peers and bosses and can help rank you higher in academic projects and presentations.
The different types of oratory skills
While there is no single answer to how to become a good orator, you can master several techniques and habits to improve your oratorical speech. These techniques and habits are also called oratorical skills.
All great public speakers such as Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, and Steve Jobs delivered their message using all or a combination of these oratorical skills.
The foremost among them is confidence. Confidence increases your credibility and people are more inclined to believe that your message is true. A good orator knows how to make an entrance, appears aspirational, and has a commanding presence.
A good orator also has the right body language. He won’t slouch, stammer, or keep his hands in the pockets while speaking. Such details may seem trivial, but they matter. The right body language enhances your oratorical skills. Using the appropriate hand gestures, walking around, and talking to the entire audience can help deliver an impactful oratorical speech.
Apart from having oratorical skills, you also need to engage with the audience. You need to invite the audience to participate, reach out to them, or maybe even ask them a few questions. This will keep the audience invested in your speech and help you connect with them.
Qualities of a good orator
A good orator is one who knows his audience. You must tailor your content to their expectations and your language to their comfort level. For instance, being verbose with children may not get your message across, or speaking too simplistically may not work when you need to impress clients. Different audiences function and react differently. A good orator is always able to anticipate what his audience wants and how it will respond.
The audience deserves the speaker’s undivided attention. A great way to show this is to maintain eye contact. Look around the room, try and reach as many people as possible. All your oratory skills are useless if your audience feels you’re too indifferent or too scared to look them in the eye.
Great orators memorize their speeches. It is not easy to do so, but it makes all the difference. Using a script or referring to notes reduces the impact of a speech. Speaking from memory also shows the audience that you care. If you add the right emotional tone to it, they will think you’re speaking straight from the heart, which will be more appealing.
Perfecting your oratory skills
These skills will go a long way in helping you speak effectively. But like a muscle, they require constant exercise or practice. One way to do so is to record your speech. Identify the weaker sections and fix them through practice. Another way is to rehearse in front of your friends and ask for their feedback. While you speak, notice their body language and expressions. Make a note of the sections in which you lose their attention.
Learning to speak effectively can be a daunting task. Reading articles and watching videos can only take you so far. But the right tools and knowledge of certain nuances can help you. Harappa Education’s Speaking Effectively course has several frameworks including Aristotle’s Appeals, the PAM Framework, and the Idea Funnel for this purpose. The course also includes specific sections on the elevator pitch and building empathy. Sign up now and claim your stage.
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