As an educator, I use my summers to sharpen my teaching tools. One of those tools is public speaking. Apart from using this skill every day in the classroom, I am also the Speech teacher. I want to be a master of my craft so that I am able to give the best quality class that I can possibly give.
As I prepare for next year’s classes, I keep running across material that I can use for my Speech class. The odd thing is that some of the most helpful resources are not directly linked to public speaking at all.
7 usual ways to enhance your public speaking using the internet.
1. TED Talks
Maybe you feel swindled right now because TED talks are obviously about public speaking. Bare with me.
TED speakers are very polished. I thought that they would be great examples of amazing speakers to show my speech student. The problem was that I was bored watching many the TED speeches.
Then it occurred to me: What if instead of using TED Talks as an example, the students used the same TED Talks and critiqued the speakers?
Here is the syllabus that I used in my class to give my students feedback. Use the same syllabus as a guide to see what TED speakers are doing right and what they are doing wrong.
2. Pixar in a Box
Khan Academy and Pixar have teamed up to give insights into how Pixar makes their movies. They talk about everything from animation to mathematics, to 3-D modeling. Recently they added a new section. It’s called “The Art of Storytelling.” Although this is mainly aimed towards students who want to make movies, stories that are well crafted are some of the most powerful tools that you can use in public speaking. I highly suggest the course for anyone who wants to take their speaking to the next level.
Resource: Khan Academy
Quora is an online forum for questions and answers. I use Quora to help me find topics on which to write. However, Quora is also great if you want to enhance your impromptu speaking skills.
Here is how to do it.
- Step 1 — Go to Quora.com
- Step 2 — Think of a subject on which you would like to speak and type it into the search bar.
- Step 3 — Set a timer for 6 minutes.
- Step 4 — Choose the first question that comes up and take 1 minute to prepare some notes.
- Step 5 — Once your timer goes down from 6 minutes to 5 minutes, start speaking. Try not to stop until the timer goes off.
It’s not the same as a live audience, but it’s actually getting close. I’ve recorded videos for YouTube before. Even though you are not live when recording, and you can still edit the video, speaking in front of a camera can make you extremely nervous. The sensation is similar to the nervousness that you feel when you stand in front of the stage of people. There is no way to overcome this nervousness. You can only get used to it and learn how to harness the adrenaline.
Try recording and uploading videos to YouTube. Ask friends and family who care about you to critique your video.
One Warning: Don’t pay attention to the comments. You can even turn them off. There are some really hurtful people on the comments sections on YouTube. Their feedback is not helpful.
5. Facebook Live
Similar to YouTube, Facebook Live is a tool that gives you the same feelings as being in front of a large audience. The only difference between this and practicing with YouTube is that there’s no editing with Facebook live. Once you go live, whatever happens, happens. It takes the adrenaline to the next level. Try doing this to practice how it feels to be in front of a live audience.
Resource: Facebook Live
Do you have trouble using your hands when you speak? If you do, you are normal. Many people don’t know what to do with their hands when speaking in public. Although there are some great teachings online regarding this topic, it would be more fun to practice learning some phrases in American Sign Language. Use LifePrint.com Learn some common ASL words and practice using them when you speak. This will loosen up your hands and teach you to keep them above your waist.
Udemy is an online learning website. You can obviously use it to pay for a public speaking course. Although their courses are helpful, it would be even more helpful to create your own course.
Now, don’t get me wrong. This takes a lot of effort.
I remember when I first signed up for Udemy I thought it would be easy to make a course because I was already a teacher. It was not easy, but the process was extremely helpful. The Udemy staff gave me excellent feedback on the qualities of my video and even the tone of my voice. They have videos and articles to make sure your course is up to their standards. Unlike the haters on YouTube, these people actually give you constructive feedback, because they want you to succeed.
Not everything you do has to involve intense studies. Netflix has been uploading quite a few comedy routines. Comedy is one of the hardest public speaking careers out there. That’s why comedians are master public speakers! Get in a good laugh while observing the experts. Try coming up with a small routine of your own and practice it on friends.
Extras: Some not so unusual resources.
Ok, enough of the weird stuff. Here are two bonus resources that will help for obvious reasons.
Toastmasters is a club of public speaking. You can visit their website for all kinds of resources and tips. Even better, you can you can get plugged into one of their local clubs.
Coursera is a site where you can take amazing university classes online. They have public speaking classes. You can audit the classes to simply view the content, or pay receive a grade and a certificate.
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If you are breathing, you are an educator.
If you want to increase your influence and expand your impact, download my FREE ebook: “Profe Pablo’s 25 Teaching Tips that will instantly make your life easier” (PS — Be Careful with the one that tells you to stand on a desk. I’ve only fallen twice!)