blog Communication | 4min Read
Published on March 6, 2021
What is Most Important in Public Speaking?
Public speaking is just, Speaking in public. Be it one person or a thousand, it’s about putting an idea into the mind of the person in front of you. It isn’t just about talks and speeches.
Did you know that there is a championship for Public Speaking? People literally get on stage, talk, and then a world champion is selected. Just imagine your poetry or debate competition, but put it on a global stage with millions of eyes.
And this has probably created some pressure in your mind already – ‘Do I need to be world champion…?’
No, you don’t. We generally think of public speaking as getting on stage at a TED Talk and giving a rousing speech. Then you come off and are surrounded by hundreds of people trying to shake your hands and take selfies (pre-pandemic of course).
But public speaking is just, Speaking in public. Be it one person or a thousand, it’s about putting an idea into the mind of the person in front of you. It isn’t just about talks and speeches, it’s about getting a point across. Sure it sounds easier when it’s just one person instead of an auditorium, but effective communication is tricky either way. And the key to that is understanding who you’re talking to.
Listen. Learn. Enjoy
Most believe that public speaking it about them, the speaker. But it’s not, it’s all about the Listener. If you didn’t have anybody listening to you, it’s the same as talking to a wall. So remove yourself and your ego, start paying attention to what the listener wants. The fear of being judged also comes from not understanding who we’re talking to. What would the listener want to hear? Good speakers will always read the crowd and adjust their words. If your audience removes their phone, you’re talking to no one.
Comedians are great examples to look at. Their words need to have an immediate effect – Laughter. So they focus entirely on delivery. They understand their audience and what would be familiar to them, so they tweak their words to get an effect. Now they aren’t born with perfect lines. They try multiple versions in different settings, to see which gets the best response. They love making mistakes and being embarrassed because when they hear laughter, they know they are hitting the right note. So try the same, experiment with the way you speak in smaller groups.
Another trick is to think about your favorite teacher and your worst teacher. We all have both. Think about what is different between the two. See what makes you listen to one and switch off from the other. Be observant and maybe you’ll realize a thing or two.
But Why Should I ??
That’s a great question. Why should you care about public speaking? Maybe you feel that you’ll never be on a stage. Maybe you feel that with the tech boom, you’ll be safe behind a screen. And this is when the cliché reasons pop up – It helps in resumes, it helps in becoming a leader, it’s a 21st-century skill, it helps in entrepreneurship, it helps get you a job, blah – blah.
The main reason is that it makes you a better person. To be a good speaker you have to be concerned about your listener, so it teaches you to think about others. It makes you confident and more centered. It makes you face your fears one step at a time. Careers and work and resume, all happens later. But right now, it helps you connect with those around you.
– The more you do it, the less afraid you become.
– Be genuine. Everybody can see through an act. Even if you stumble, at least people understand that you’re human.
– Body language is key. Learn how your posture can throw people off.
– Keep it simple. You aren’t trying to win an award for the most arty-farty speech. You want to get your point across.
– Let your ideas be strong, make them interesting and worth sharing.
– Join fun workshops on public speaking.
– Speak like a person you would want to listen to. If you wouldn’t listen to yourself, why should others.
– Don’t confuse people by throwing too many ideas out there.
– Breathe and don’t be afraid of the pauses. If there is silence, it just means that you have their entire attention.
People always talk about politicians as great orators. Churchill, Nehru, Obama. Maybe look at motivational speakers instead – Tony Robbins, Brene Brown, Deepak Chopra. Learn how they inspire through their words. You can also apply for our 6-day Effective Communication course if you would like to equip yourself with communication skills.
Who has inspired you? Do you have any fears about public speaking? Share your thoughts below and see if it resonates with others as well.