How to Sound Conversational as a Speaker

Being a conversational public speaker

Most beginning speakers who come to my public speaking & leadership training ask a consistent question. How do I sound more conversational, less monotonous or robotic as a speaker? My formula for doing so is not complicated but it does require some practice to be effective.

Say Goodbye to Rote Memorization

Rote memorization is the worst way to “memorize” or learn anything. Simply repeating something over and over is most possibly the least effective memory method ever created. There are dozens of more effective memory methods that if practiced will give you better results. Additionally, I have seen in my career in speaking that focusing so much on reciting word-for-word rote memorized speech will:

  • Make you more focused on reciting the exact verbiage
  • Make you more nervous
  • Make you less focused on your message
  • Etc…

Boil Down Your Speech

Do NOT attempt to rote memorize your speech word for word. Instead, boil it down to the key ideas and use mnemonics or memory techniques (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, etc.) to make it easier for you to remember your speech. These can be anything from visualizing content to creating easy to remember acronym – whatever technique you find best works for you.

Practice, Practice and then Practice

Practice your speech in front of a mirror, webcam or smartphone camera. Run through the speech as if you were telling this story to friends and family in your natural conversational voice. Don’t worry about flowery language or attempting to impress anyone. Just communicate as you would naturally! Notice how much different this feels from attempting to recite from rote memory a speech word-for-word. Your speech will be lively and conversational and it will sound like you do naturally.

Sound Conversational As a Speaker

Sounding conversational as a public speaker isn’t rocket science – it simply requires reframing the way you work on speeches but it will yield positive results. It is really a matter of choosing new positive habits rather than clinging to old tired, ineffective ones. Try this out and see yourself sounding more conversational in your next speech or presentation. You’ll be a better speaker and leader for it. As always always please comment below.

Stay connected for the latest public speaking and leadership news, free videos and more. Connect with us on social media.

Joseph Guarino is a professional public speaker, trainer and owner of the Institute of Public Speaking a Boston based international public speaking & leadership training organization. As a seasoned public speaking trainer & professional speaker he enjoys helping other succeed in this worthy and rewarding craft. The Institute of Public Speaking offers a variety of public speaking courses for individuals (1 on 1 training), executive speech coaching, one day public speaking bootcamps, advanced public speaking bootcamps and public speaking seminars for corporations & groups of any size.
Posted in CommunicationTagged , ,  |  Leave a comment

Leave a reply