Everyone can learn to give an interesting and effective speech
There are few things in the world that scare every kind of person, from any kind of background, with any kind of upbringing, like standing up on stage, and speaking in front of an audience. Whether it's addressing a crowd, or presenting the latest corporate project in front of colleagues, the idea of having to give a speech can trigger many negative emotions, including anxiety, distress and genuine physical and mental discomfort. The reason for this state of worry is simple: when we speak in public, we have the attention of many people, all directed at us, and this makes us sense the entire weight of their potential negative judgment, should things not go well; as if that were not enough, the anxiety we feel from our fear of being judged increases the risk of our minds going blank. We will have all listened to an unconvincing speech, in which the speaker was visibly nervous and took excessively long pauses, or was unclear in what he was trying to say because he was so overwhelmed by nerves.
The anxiety of speaking in public is made worse by the fact that, in some cases, it is unavoidable: if you have attained, or are trying to attain an important position at work, socially and personally, sooner or later you are going to have to speak at an event; and you will have to do it to the best of your abilities, to earn the respect of the people you are presenting to.
Fortunately, speaking skills can be studied, developed and improved, and even those who feel like a hopeless case can become great speakers: like any discipline, improvement requires commitment, study and a lot of practice, but before launching in, it might be helpful to bear in mind the following four tips:
- Learn from other people’s experience: no one is born an expert speaker, but everyone can become one. The path that takes a person from the anxiety of giving a speech to the joy of going on stage is not only very rewarding, but also revolutionary, especially given that even the most experienced speakers always feel a touch of stage fright. Everyone who is able to overcome their feelings and give their own speeches can benefit from the boost in self-esteem that comes with facing your fears. This grows each time you step up and do it, and it has the power to completely transform every aspect of our life.
- Never lose sight of the goal: according to William James, professor of psychology at Harvard University, "if you care enough for a result, you will most certainly attain it". Projecting yourself into the future and seeing yourself speaking on stage effectively and assuredly is the first step towards success.
- Don’t get in the way of your own success: not only is imagining yourself giving a great speech in front of an audience a way to make it come true, for it to really be effective, you also need to stop thinking about the worst case scenario. Part of success is believing strongly in yourself and your commitment.
- Practice as much as possible, at all times: with enough experience, it is possible to become a pro at almost anything, and public speaking is no exception. So it is very important to find any excuse you can to practice: whether you are at the table with the family, at a dinner with friends or in a group of colleagues, to do little warm-ups, is a great idea.
The key ideas of "The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking"
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