by: Ellen Egan
We have all seen the books and courses on public speaking that tell you of the “Top ten tricks for public speaking brilliance”. When we open up the book or the course, it is filled with advice on removing the “umms” and “ahhs” from your speech. Or, we are told to practice voice techniques and eye contact. While all of this is good advice to polish your public speaking, it does little to deal with the core issues of public speaking fear or the person who wants to seriously develop their public speaking skills.
Training in public speaking is not just a matter of externals like voice, body language and eye contact. It’s not about conforming to standards or imitating the skills of someone you admire. Public speaking is about you speaking in public. I know, that’s pretty obvious but many people miss this critical point. The first thing we must understand is that we have to have something of value to share, to speak about in public. If there is nothing of value to share, then no tricks or training will make the talker anything more than a person taking up space and time.
So, the starting point is here.
1. What do you have of value to share with your audience? Do you have an idea, a product, a service, some information, etc. that will improve their lives and/or solve a problem?
Take a pen right now and write down at least five things of value that you have to share with an audience. You will probably find that have more than five when you begin listing all your experiences, ideas, information, etc.
2. How do you know it is of value to your audience? Take the time to find out as much as you can about your audience so that you can tailor your message so that it is clear to them that it is of value.
Take a pen right now and write as much as you can about your audience. Who are they? What do they already know about your topic wnd what do they want to know? Why are they going to listen to you?
Once you clearly have something of value to say and you know enough about your audience to see how it is of value to them, then you can begin crafting the presentation. At this point we can bring in the important aspects of writing a powerful speech, practicing techniques to deliver a strong presentation and using tricks to capture and hold attention.
Make a great cake (that you know your audience will like) and then add the frosting.