When you listen to a public speaker, you’ll sometimes will be drawn into what he or she says – or you just go on doing what you did before.
Where is the key to success? Can everyone become a public speaker?
In principle, the answer to the second question is ‘yes, you can.’ The key to success however, lies in hard work and lots of practice. The best example nowadays, in my honest opinion, is listening to the speeches of President Obama. He knows how to convey his message to the ones listening to it. Study him carefully, and you might already learn a lot.
Of course there are some pointers in to what should be in a public speech, but I repeat: practice is the only way to reach your goal. Dare take the risk – you have been doing it all you life! As a toddler, you dared to take your first steps, with the risk of falling. You risked scraping your knees when you first went rollerblading. When asking for a date, you risk being rejected. Need I say more?
When preparing to speak in public, you can better pay attention to the use of language. Here are some useful tips:
- Don’t speak too fast. When you are in front of a big audience, the idea is that everyone can understand you. Slowing your pattern of speech will help towards that.
- Articulate! This can be learned too, perhaps with the help of a language teacher. Pronounce your letters and words the way they are intended.
- Don’t speak on an even tone, this might become too dull and people will turn away. Changing the tone of your voice might help here. Also use stress when necessary.
Some other things to consider are that you can only become a public speaker if you have something to say. The more you believe in yourself, the better your credibility will become. Gaining self-confidence, again, can be acquired. You can start off giving speeches in your bathroom, before the mirror, so that you can watch your expression. If you believe in what you’re saying, your expression will show. Continue you exercises by speaking for friends and family. The more you practice, the more self-confident you’ll become and at long last you’ll be ready to speak before a big crowd.
Don’t let the masses intimidate you. If you are afraid and feel like walking off the stage, you are not meant to be a public speaker. Be assertive. Don’t look at the many people below or before you, but direct your glances to a point somewhere else (for instance, a building behind the crowd). Some great speakers don’t have to do this. They are confident enough to say what they have in mind, whether they do it before a large audience or just person-to-person.
A good speech can also be spiced with a story of an event everyone feels related to, or by telling some jokes about the subject of the speech.