Be better at public speaking

We all do it, speaking. But some can do it better than others. Public speaking of course is what I’m alluding to. So how do you be a better public speaker?

It’s a skill

If you really want to improve your speaking you need to think of speaking as a skill. Speak or record yourself saying the answer and then write it down. We speak and write differently, and it is a mistake to train yourself to speak in the same way as you write. If you record yourself you will be able to consider whether you said enough. In parts 1 and 3 of the IELTS test you need to aim for two or three sentences per answer.

Speaking should still be organized. There should be a structure to the answer. You need to use organization language such as Firstly, XXXXX. Secondly, XXXXX Lastly, XXX

Consider whether you speak too slowly or too rapidly? In Part 2 of the Speaking Module, a native speaker could speak about 250 words in two minutes. If you are speaking for less than 200 words, you may be on the slow side.

Part 2 of the speaking module is about speaking non-stop for about 2 minutes.  Practice Part 2 in your own language first. Part 2 is also known as the long turn. Can you speak well in your own language for two minutes – for some people that is difficult too.  You need to be able to speak non-stop for two minutes. Structure language is key for Part 2

Break into chunks

In Part 2 you are given a card with a topic. Usually there are four points, so you should divide the talk into the four parts in the question. If you speak for about 30 seconds for each part – then you have got your 2 minutes.

See pictures when you are speaking.

Find a picture about an IELTS topic and describe what you see. In Part I of the IELTS exam you may be asked to talk about your life and your home town. If you have gone through lots of your own pictures you will have done some great preparation for the IELTS exam. When you are taking the exam remember these pictures.

Practice reading and speaking together

After reading a passage, summarize what you have read.  Doing this improves thinking in English and articulation – how you put your English together.

Memory development

Many the speaking questions are about you and your life. Before the test you should refresh your memory concerning your past. Get out all the photographs you have and remember the important events of your life. Go over in your mind all the memories you have of events, people and places. Speak about all your personal memories.

Think of the helpful people in your life – your teachers, your relatives. Think about when you met them and how long you have known then. Think about why they are important and what makes them interesting. How did you benefit from them. Remember all the things you did together. Think of the activities and the conversations.

Think of the helpful people in your life – your teachers, your relatives

Think of the important events in your life. What happened – when, where, who, what. Who were the people you were with at that time.

Think of all the places you have been to in your home country and elsewhere. Think of the place and how you got there? Who did you go with. What did you do and how did you feel.

Think of all the things you own. How long have you owned each item? Was it a gift? Did you buy it – how did you get that money? What is the sentimental value

If you don’t know or are not sure then say so. This is a test of English and there may be some questions where you really don’t know or don’t have that experience. Then say so. Of course, explain why you don’t know or are not sure.

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Speak in front of a mirror.  Use the mirror to help you make better eye contact. Eye contact is considered to be important.

Write questions

Yes you think up some questions. The speaking module is all about thinking, and thinking up and answering your own questions will make you more aware of the Q and A process.

Practice speaking for at least 3 to 4 minutes. Then repeat but do it in two minutes and aim for a more compact answer compared to the first one.