The most important step in public speaking is preparation. It is the No. 1 key to success in every endeavour and this applies especially to speaking in public. To make a successful speech requires in depth research of your topic. For every minute that your speech lasts you will probably have to spend one hour in research and preparation!
If you think that 10 hours is a lot of time to devote to a 10 munute speech then consider Muhammad Ali. Some of his fights only lasted 10 minutes but he spent several months in preparing himself. He knew that preparation creates confidence:
- Confidence in your abilities
- Confidence in your knowledge
- Confidence in a successful outcome
- Confidence to overcome fear
- Confidence to take action
Training and exercise is the next simple step in developing confident public speaking. If you want to become physically fit then you need to engage in training and exercise. It is the same with public speaking. Be prepared to feel foolish, awkward and nervous while you are learning and trying out new skills. Just do it anyway. The more you practice in public the more and quicker you will learn. So take every opportunity to speak in public. Remember, while you are learning you don't have to be perfect, just use those occasions as learning opportunities. One way to get practice is to join a speaking club, as I did. That way you are working together with others who are also learning. You will receive lots of constructive feedback, which is what you need while you are learning.
This is simply a matter of being determined to master the art and skills of public speaking and deciding never to give up. No matter how badly you think your last speech went or how badly you feel about it, give it one more try, then another and another. Improvement is incremental, if you keep on trying.
TRI, TRI again. Take action. Review it. Improve it. Then TRI again.
4. Plan a Simple Structure
Introduction: Tell them what you are going to tell them.
Body: Tell them two or three clear ideas.
Conclusion: Tell them what you have told them.
Nothing could be simpler.
Speaking in public is a pleasurable, exhilarating experience. It provides an opportunity to share your experience and your knowledge. You may not feel that speaking in public is a pleasure at first. You may feel absolutely petrified. Many people do. This is only natural. But once you have had the opportunity to learn a few skills and have learnt how to control your nerves then you will experience the
satisfaction of confidence in your abilities to speak in front of an audience.
You are invisible! Until you express your ideas and make them clear to others you are invisible. To make an impact on other people you must express your personality. Speaking in public is a wonderful way to do this. You have to make the invisible part of you visible. By sharing your real self, the hidden part of you, your feelings, your attitudes, your dreams and aspirations with your audience you connect with them in a very real and dynamic way. They see the real person and they are then able to enter into your world and empathise with you. By expressing yourself, your opinions, your ideas and your beliefs and expressing them in your own unique style you make your personality visible to others.
When tackling the art of public speaking one of the strategies you can use is to see yourself as successful. Use positive self-talk to enthuse yourself with confidence. Walk up to the podium with your head held high and with a confident air. No one can see what you are feeling inside. Act confident even if you don't feel it. You will soon feel confident as your feelings catch up with
To be at all convincing you must have a passion for your subject. It must be something you are vitally interested in. You must exude enthusiasm and you must communicate this excitement to your audience. So concentrate on this one thing until it becomes an all-consuming obsession. Then you will speak about it with conviction and your audience will be convinced of its importance to you and they will sit up and take notice.
After you have made a few speeches take time to reflect on how far you have come. See the progress you have made. Begin to appreciate that you are feeling more confidence and that you are communicating more effectively. This will provide even greater motivation and it will renew your determination to keep on trying.
By putting these simple steps into effect you will learn how to become a confident speaker and by continually thinking about them and practising them you will desire to perfect your skills. There are many resources available to enable you to improve your abilities. There are speaking clubs, professional speaking organisations, books, courses and articles available. You may wish to avail yourself of some or all of these resources.
About the Author
Alan Moreton is an International speaker, writer, editor and businessman. Article reproduction permission is hereby granted providing the article is republished in its entirety, with author's information and any links intact. Copyright 2005 by Alan Moreton
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