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 minute
speech then consider Muhammad Ali-The
Master of Preparation. 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
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 your actions.
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 use some or all of these
resources to perfect your skills as a public speaker.
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
Mastermind Strategies for Personal and Business Development.