How to improve your public speaking skills to win interviews
Did you know that most interview processes begin with a phone interview? When these phone interviews first started many people didn’t take them seriously.
Why the phone interviews are important
It seemed like a preliminary process that didn’t need as much preparation or planning as the follow-up interviews. Today, if you don’t pay attention to phone interviews, you are not likely to win interviews.
The preliminary screening is often done long before the first interview happens. The screening happens when you first apply. If your resume hasn’t been well prepared with keywords and accomplishments that fit the job description, you will be screened out.
Savvy job seekers use networking strategies to get beyond the online application and gain the attention of hiring managers, but they still need to pay attention during phone interviews.
While speaking skills are critical in phone interviews, the same tips will help you during in-person interviews. The difference is that when you have in-person or virtual interviews, you have more visual effects working for you. You can make eye contact (and should make eye contact), you can use visual aids, and you can build more acceptance.
5 Tips to improve your public speaking skills to help you win interviews (and job offers)
Slow down! Don’t talk too fast. Speeding up often happens when you are nervous, and it makes you more difficult to understand. Did you ever someone who speaks so quickly that you get a headache listening? This kind of speaker is sending the message that you are not important to him. It is hard to process information from someone who is speaking too fast. It sounds rude.
- Speak in sound bites. Do you ever have to remind yourself to stop speaking? Do you sometimes forget to stop talking? When you stop, ask if they have any questions, rather than trying to give every potential piece of relevant information to the question. Pause occasionally. Pauses are powerful. Listeners can interpret the meaning when you pause.
- Speak with inflection. People who speak in a monotone put their audience to sleep. Try recording your own voice. Today you can do that with your phone or with Skype or a variety of other apps. Listen carefully to how you sound and note aspects of the way you speak that reduce the effectiveness of your message. By raising and lowering your volume, you create emphasis.
- Observe how you use language. If you tend to use slang or worse, curse words, clean up your language and practice answers to common interview questions.
- Smile when you are speaking. Your tone changes when you smile. You don’t have to do that throughout the entire interview but if you remind yourself to smile periodically, you will seem friendlier.
These public speaking tips help you in company meetings, when you are asked to speak at a conference, present at a company meeting, or teach a class.
Julie Walraven is a triple-certified resume writer whose interactive coaching style helps job seekers earn winning positions when she creates tactical resumes and LinkedIn profiles to market you for success. Learn more here.
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