Public speaking

PUBLIC SPEAKING

When I was 12 years old, I used to be very timid and used to feel shy and never ready for public speaking or speaking in public. My father was a lawyer and I used to admire his abilities in Public speaking and always admired the way in which he used to handle the clients. I felt that is an art or a skill and started preparing at the age of 12 for speaking in public. I decided to take up the opportunities for Public speaking and was looking for my first dais or platform to do that.

Public speaking
Public speaking is a skill

The middle school where I studied used to encourage Public speaking by and large and used to have training sessions for those who are interested in this Program. Basically, I understood that improving our oral eloquence and personality can differentiate and give me a unique identity. I used to attend almost all the weekend training programs. Though my father was a role model, I wanted to be slightly different from my father wherein I was more interested in debates, poem reciting in my native language which was Tamil. I joined the training program to improve my fluency in English. After a few sessions, I have understood and was on a path of progress towards English fluency.

5 Powerful tips in Public speaking

 Few initial challenges- Introduction

As a matter of fact, the most important challenges for anyone who would like to pick up expertise in this area, are as follows. while there are many the following are the main challenges that need to be overcome by an individual.

  1. Fluency in language
  2. stage fear
  3. confidence and positive attitude

The biggest challenge for me was at that point in time was fluency in English. While I was good at communicating in Tamil but lacked confidence when it comes to speaking in English. But I decided firmly, that I need to come out of this deficiency as I was passionate about speaking in a dais, before a gathering.

It is also for most of us, we have a stage fear when it comes to speaking in public. At that age, this fear was very dominant for me and it made me more nervous. Looking back today I felt it is just practice and attitude to overcome the fear that has made me a reasonably good public speaker.

I recently read an excellent article from HBR, which may be of great interest for people who want to overcome the fear of speaking in public.

https://hbr.org/2019/09/to-overcome-your-fear-of-public-speaking-stop-thinking-about-yourself

I can admit honestly that I did not have the capabilities at that point in time or the required skills, but I decided to make my inaugural speech in English. To some extent, I did memorize my contents and went and delivered before a gathering of around five hundred students and 40 teachers. I had great appreciation which gave me a lot of motivation. I strongly feel the first thing we need to win over is the stage fear. Once we win over this then it becomes very easy.

Public speaking
Public speaking – stage fear to address

Also speaking in public or communicating with others also carries a systematic process, where we need to understand the basics of what is a correct communication process. To know more about this in detail read another blog in the same category.http://intospeaking.com/communication-process-6-useful-elements/

while we understand the basic communication process wherein we know How to speak, how to write, it becomes very easy to overcome the barriers of communication and the communication process becomes easy. The Barriers of communication need to be understood clearly if we want to communicate effectively. what are the barriers in communication and what are the barriers in Public speaking that almost will have common traits? If you want to understand the Barriers in communication, and How to avoid these barriers, read my blog below for more details.

http://intospeaking.com/4-powerful-concepts-in-communication-barriers/

In my view, it is very important and essential in our day-to-day life, that communicating effectively gives success. Especially when you work for large organizations wherein we need to address on a day-to-day basis, the communication process, speaking clearly, and influencing people are the key factors for Organization success.

we define this area as Business communication which deals with How do you speak, write, and generally communicate in your business domain, which includes stakeholders like your Boss, colleagues, customers, and other stakeholders in Business. If you are able to speak in Public, or address or communicate well in your emails to all the above stakeholders, then your performance improves which results in achieving your goals .and that made me write this blog . You can read more about Business communication in my separate blog if you are interested to get in specific insights on Business communication.

http://intospeaking.com/business-communication-6-outstanding-concepts/

1.  what is public speaking ?

Public speaking is defined as an act of speaking to a specified small or large of people in a systematic fashion wherein we are able to attract, convince and influence them. It is important that while speaking we need to keep them entertained thou out and make them listen to our speech.

https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_speaking

 

2. Public speaking skills

Public speaking
public speaking skills before media & large audience

While becoming an expert public speaking skill is an art, still it is not as complicated as we think provided we are able to break the initial fear of the stage and develop a positive attitude and confidence. Of course, fluency is developed over a period of time you start speaking.

The most interesting aspect is here is overcoming the initial fear and fluency obstruction. If there are covered then you will go to places and you can speak on any subject. There are essential elements which we need to keep in mind before we become experts.

Let us list the following and we address all these points, there is no doubt we become at ease to communicate in a better way and probably in a years time, we become an expert. There are courses available for the same, which are available both offline and online which can give you practical workshops. you can google it and see for yourself for specified courses for public speaking.

3.Essential elements to be looked in to develop expertise

  • Do research about your audience
  • Do research on the topic and be clear on what you are going to speak
  • Prepare short bullet points and organize your ideas on priority, what to speak first, middle and last
  • Make a connection with the audience
  • Incorporate quotes, short stories, and entertaining and latest information
  • Avoid bombastic language
  • Introduce visuals as a supportive aid to your speech.
  • keep time as a strict measure 
  • speak with confidence and authority avoid areas of conflict
  • Ask questions and involve in a feedback session.
  • Involve in discussions towards the end of the speech- if required.
  • Note down your mistakes so that you can avoid the same in your next speech Do research about your audience
Do research about your audience

The first foremost thing is to understand your audience before we address the gathering. Understanding the audience involves is gathering details like the age group, gender, and their likes and dislikes, occupation, etc. This may probably give us an insight of we need to address the audience so that the audience gets attracted to our speech and we can also make the speech interesting.

Do research on the topic and be clear on what you are going to speak

once you understand the audience then we can choose the topic, which becomes more relevant and also is a matter of interest. It is important that we need to align the expectations of the audience so that the speech listens to with engagement. The relevance, contents, and type of delivery are very important in public speaking.

Prepare short bullet points and organize your ideas on priority, what to speak first, middle and last

once the topic is selected, the preparation for the topic becomes very important. This involves the planning of contents and delivery points. What to speak in the beginning is critical. The first two to three minutes audience attention span will be very good and we need to get their attention initially. Going straight to content without a prelude will make the speech boring and dry.

We need to keep the initial talk as the best talk so that we capture the attention of the audience. we can keep the core subject and Discussion points in the middle and at the end summarize all and conclude it micro brief. The concluding remarks should be taken away and snippets of summary of the whole speech. This makes the audience to have a takeaway and will make them understand what we would like to convey.

Make a connection with the audience

connecting with the audience involves Powerful introduction, eye contact, and confident delivery of the speech.

Incorporate quotes, short stories, and entertaining and latest information

to keep the audience connected, always short stories relevant to subject matter serve the purpose. The engagement with the audience and making them be attentive and listening becomes more meaningful in this way. Also anecdotes and quotes splashed here and there removes the boredom of listening.

Avoid bombastic language

we need not use complicated and bombastic words which display our literary skills. The simple and understandable language is enough to convey the contents.

Introduce visuals as a supportive aid to your speech.

When any speech exceeds more than 5 minutes, the presentation materials like videos and visual slides help the audience to get hooked to the speaker. This removes the fatigue of only audio when there is a visual representation appropriately shown during the course of speech.

Keep time as a strict measure 

The audience’s mindset will always be to listen only to the announced time duration. They will be particular about the start time, end time. We need to maintain discipline in this. when any speech exceeds these parameters, the audience will have a disconnect.

Speak with confidence and authority avoid areas of conflict

while we plan the contents and make it perfect, the delivery style is very important. The positive attitude, body language, and speaking with confidence give the speaker a unique authority. The delivery style will be a performing factor when all these are followed and will be greatly appreciated. Also, we can avoid conflicting views or topics when we speak in a large audience group.

Ask questions and involve in a feedback session.

At times to gather the attention of the audience, you may keep asking some lead questions to make them connect with the audience also it will serve as a check or feedback to understand if the audience is on the same page.

Involve in discussions towards the end of the speech- if required.

when we find the feedback session is attended properly, we can lead them into a small discussion also but we need to keep the session only after the end part of the speech is delivered. Otherwise, too much involvement of feedback in between the speech may digress the focus and we may not be able to complete our speech in full.

Note down your mistakes so that you can avoid the same in your next speech 

Of course, all speeches cannot be perfect and need not be perfect. There may be certain mistakes here and there in terms of delivery or content accuracy. While we need to be perfect, at times when there is a slip, we should take note of these mistakes and put our thoughts to avoid this strictly in our next speech. This makes them perfect soon. We may not do the same mistakes but still can make new mistakes. Technology, presentation aids will be a major bottleneck apart from our context, for these mistakes. So we always need to take a closer look before the speech.

4 The Art of public speaking

Public speaking
The art of public speaking involves planning, content, and Delivery

The art of Public speaking is essentially a very interesting skill, which is a process of acquisition and gets developed over a period of time. In public speaking, this comes from practice.

It is a learning process by itself and you may find yourself with a flow of thoughts, fluency, and attitude to speak effectively over a period of time. The improvisation and becoming an expert in this is a continuous process.

https://www.briantracy.com/blog/general/the-art-of-public-speaking/

you may find more interesting ideas in an organized way from the above blog. The author is Brian Tracy who is an authority in this area. I had read several of his blogs to get interesting insights. you may find it very useful, when you read his contents. Please feel free to read, understand and appreciate his experience.

5Public speaking and influencing men in Business

There is a famous book on this topic which covers exhaustively the importance of public speaking and How this is useful for influencing the Business community.

I would recommend this as a conclusion for this blog to read the same from the above link and benefit, and this will improve your insight into Public speaking.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_Speaking_and_Influencing_Men_in_Business

we will connect in our next interesting blog similar to Public speaking, until then please feel free to leave your comments.

 

1 thought on “Public speaking”

  1. Awesome tips. Undoubtedly, Public speaking is very important for everyone whether you are a businessman or a student.
    Effective public speaking skills can have a huge impact on your career. It improves creativity and critical thinking. It helps you to express your thoughts confidently.
    Every famous leader is an excellent public speaker. They leave a powerful impact on the audience with their words.

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