One of my favorite activities every January is to think about all the ways I’d like to grow in the new year. You could call them resolutions, but I would call them re-committing to my vision of where I’d like to be professionally and personally.

Many of you may be re-committing yourself to move up in your career, change jobs, learn a new skill, or pick up a hobby. I’m betting that more than a few of you would like to become more confident in your public speaking.

With that in mind, here are three ways to improve your public speaking in the new year, including resources to help you take your skills to the next level.

  1. Set a goal of speaking up once in every meeting. You can practice your public speaking in every meeting – it doesn’t have to be a formal speech or presentation. Prepare for each meeting by asking yourself the 3 Questions and arrive at each meeting with talking points. Here is an article I wrote for the Harvard Business Review about when and how to speak up in meetings.
  2. Videotape a presentation and watch it back. The best way to improve your speaking skills is to debrief your past speaking experiences and look for ways to improve. The next time you have a presentation, set up your smart phone to videotape yourself. Within 12 hours of completing the presentation, watch that video and give yourself feedback, using this video as a guide.
  3. Focus on developing one main area of your speaking skills. It’s hard to improve everything at once. Based on your self-assessment from the video, determine one area you’d like to improve. In our training programs, we have developed the GPS Communication Assessment which you can use to solicit peer feedback. You might focus on making your body language more natural, or making your language more persuasive. Our blog provides a wealth of free resources to help you. Alternately, you could purchase my best-selling book or sign up for 1:1 coaching time with one of our incredible communication coaches.

In 2020, create a vision for the speaker you’d like to become, and then use the above three strategies to turn that vision into a reality. We are here to help!