Why should you spend time improving your public speaking skills? As long as you don’t have to speak too frequently and you can get through a speech without stumbling too much, who cares? I do and you should. And you obviously do, which is why you are here.
Improving your speaking does much more than enable you to deliver a message to a crowd. Knowing that you can address an audience with less discomfort is a real self-confidence builder. And that self-confidence will snowball and impact every area of your life, personal and professional. After all, everyone feels and performs better when they have confidence in themselves and their skills.
So, what can you do to boost your skills in the public speaking arena? TED Talk Curator Chris Anderson has been reviewing potential speakers for over a decade. In his own Talk, he discusses four major things you can do to ensure a successful speech.
- – Stick to One Great Idea. Studies show that the great majority of people remember very little of a speech just a few hours after they hear it. By sticking to one idea, you can spend your time making your speech more memorable.
- – Give your audience a reason to care. There is nothing new under the sun, as the old saying goes. Why should your audience care enough about what you have to say to actually remember some of it?
- – Use language that resonates with the audience. Choosing the right words to motivate and inspire your listeners makes a big difference in their engagement with you and your topic.
- – Have something worth sharing. Why is it important? Why do you care about it? Why should they?
How to Make It Happen?
- – Do you have a choice? Is your speech topic prescribed or do you have some room to pick and choose? Either way, you’ll want to find the seed of the subject you’ll be discussing and coax it into germination. That is your One Great Idea.
- – Share your passion! Find an angle of your subject that inspires you. Talking about something you truly care about makes public speaking much less nerve wracking because you can focus on spreading the message instead of your nerves. Give them a reason to care by showing them that you care! Passion is contagious!
- – Tell a story. Present it as a mystery. However you do it, pick words that will motivate and inspire. Use a thesaurus to help you choose just the right word. Adjectives are especially helpful in bringing your story to life.
- – Why is your speech worth listening to? Does it have the ability to make your audience more successful? Happier? Healthier? Consider why they are there and what they stand to gain. What’s the takeaway?
Try It on for Size
Pick a topic that you have recently spoken about, whether it was a one-on-one conversation or a discussion in a larger setting. Try out some of Chris Anderson’s suggestions and walk it through my How to Make It Happen tips and let me know how it goes.
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