For many people, there is
nothing more terrifying than speaking in front of an audience. There
is something about standing before a group of people which makes
basic communication feel that much more difficult.
In a one-on-one conversation,
the problems are minimal. There is only one person listening and
only one person critiquing what we say. In addition, we can watch
their reactions and alter our speech accordingly. When we speak
in front of a group however, the problems are multiplied and we
no longer have the ability to adjust our speech based on the reactions
of just one individual. This creates a feeling of exposure and vulnerability,
and can be quite uncomfortable for those who are not prepared for
While some people are born
with a natural gift for public speaking, most are not. Unfortunately
for those of us who are not, it is a skill which has numerous and
invaluable applications. Whether it’s for a work function,
a birthday celebration, or a wedding, you never know when you may
be asked to say a few words. Luckily, public speaking is a skill
with a simple formula. It requires preparation and a good delivery.
A proficient speaker is someone who gives excellent consideration
to both elements.
Preparation is absolutely
essential to the giving of a good speech. While many speeches may
seem impromptu, they are never done without a decent amount of groundwork.
The aim is to have all the content organised as early as possible
to allow adequate time to work on your delivery.
There are different ways to
prepare for a speech. You can read it, memorise it, or learn the
key points to be elaborated on as you go. Whatever approach you
choose is fine, as long as it flows and sounds natural... more
As any accomplished speaker
will tell you, it has less to do with what you’re saying,
and more to do with how you’re saying it. The worst speech
presented confidently will always be more effective than a good
speech presented poorly.
When speaking in front of
others, take your time and relax. Make eye contact with individual
members of your audience and pretend you’re having nothing
more than a number of one-on-one conversations. If you see people
who look bored or disinterested, ignore them. No matter how good
your speech is you will never be able to please everyone... more