Oratory, the art of speech and persuasion, is as valuable today as it was when the ancient Greeks first started writing about it. Oratory skills make you a better seller, leader and diplomat. If you are interested in self-improvement, you should invest time and energy in building your skills in this area.
Sign up for a course in public speaking. Pick a course that teaches a full range of skills: impromptu speeches, prepared speeches and business speeches. Choose a course given by a respected business in the field of public speaking training (see Resources 1 and 2).
Join a group that gives you opportunities to practice your public speaking skills. Pick one of the many groups that helps members develop their skills, such as debate clubs, public speaking teams and Toastmasters groups. Which group you choose is up to you. If you prefer competitive speaking, go with debate. If you prefer conventional public speaking, go with Toastmasters.
Develop a regular practice schedule. Attend your classes and group meetings every week. Attend any competitive events that you can. Volunteer to speak at least once a week.
Watch other people practice their public speaking. Volunteer to judge at high school debate and public speaking contests. Watch and take notes as members of your speaking group practice their skills. Ask the speakers about the tactics they use to develop their skills. Write their answers down.
Practice speaking on video, into a voice recorder and in front of a mirror. When speaking in front of the mirror, pay careful attention to your posture and eye contact. If you slouch or avoid eye contact, correct these mistakes by standing up straight and looking yourself straight in the eye. Practice moving your hands in rhythm with your speech. When recording yourself speaking, focus on speaking clearly, accurately and slowly. Listen to and watch your recordings, make note of any mistakes and continue with the speech until you perfect it.