Who do you know that really knows how to have a conversation?
Who do you know that seems to be comfortable talking to anyone - children, work colleagues, street people, fellow travellers, friends, acquaintances, receptionists, salespeople - anyone they meet?
Most of the time, these same people are also very comfortable public speaking in both spontaneous and prepared situations. What's the connection?
People who are interested and curious about others make wonderful conversationalists because they ask a lot of questions and they listen to the answers to inform their next question or comment. These are the same attitudes and skills that are required to connect and communicate with an audience.
If you want to be a better public speaker, take inventory of your conversation skills. How much do you listen to others, or are you more eager to talk about yourself? Do you ask questions of others or do you make assumptions and proceed on the basis that you already know the answer? Do you initiate a conversation or do you wait for others to start first? Do you leave space by pausing or taking a breath and wait for the other person to speak?
The answers to these questions will give you the key to what you could do more of to be a more effective communicator to one or one thousand.
Good luck connecting in all your communications.