In school, most of us learned math, science, reading, and other lessons. Some skills became invaluable on personal and professional levels, sometimes both.
However, few of us leaned about public speaking.
Unlike almost any other discipline, we experienced public speaking on the fly, in the form of an oral test or presenting a book report. We studied, we read, we prepared-for the written assignment, but few of us invested in the speaking part, either because we didn’t know how, or the teacher didn’t give us class time to do it. So when our name was called, our hearts raced, our mouths dried, and we began, hoping to, ‘get through it,’ before taking our seat, not sure that we accomplished our speaking goals, which were mostly not even part of our thought process, anyway.
There’s a better way.
I taught public speaking for more than 20 at two colleges. I learned that connecting with the audience begins long before you reach the stage, that you can send so many negative signals to an audience before you begin making recovery almost impossible. You sabotage your speech before you’ve even said a word. As you proceed, you are chained to notes, your body language signals ‘I’m nervous,’ and you never connect.
Following just a few tips will send your public speaking to another direction. Learning public speaking fundamentals such as: how to begin and end a speech, ways to strengthen speaker/audience connection, how to use notes, and other strategies go a long way in helping you overcome Americans’ number one fear.
A basic session in public speaking will get you on your way to dropping the shackles of self-doubt and rid yourself of the intimidation of public speaking, and initial fear behind you, making you want to reach for next level, and beyond.