Speak Like A
Pro

Did you know that in America, the fear of public-speaking ranks top of the list followed by the fear of death? It is no wonder that the ability to speak confidently in public is one of the most admired and envied abilities anyone can possess. If you have good public-speaking skills, you will not just be easily noticed, you will be remembered. Corporations and organizations will seek you out to fill positions of authority and you will become their spokesman and ambassador.

Why is public-speaking so feared?

The fear of public-speaking is ultimately the fear of failure. Audiences usually expect public speakers to be perfect. If you are not, they can be merciless in their criticisms. Thus, great public-speakers will tell you that to succeed in public-speaking, you will have to overcome several fears such as the following:

  • Fear of being overwhelmed by a large audience
  • Fear of being judged as inadequate in some way or other
  • Fear of forgetting what to say
  • Fear of making a fool of yourself

You may now be inclined to say that public-speaking is not for the faint-hearted, but on the other hand, are not the rewards worth it?

Effective public-speaking offers untold rewards

The rewards that come from perfecting the art of speaking confidently in public are limitless. If you are able to excel in public-speaking, you will overcome the biggest obstacle to success, which is yourself. Success in public-speaking, feels like you are have been released from a self-imposed prison. To enjoy public-speaking must surely be self-empowerment in its highest form.

I have observed many people who are confident in many areas of their life but they fail miserably as a public-speaker. On the other hand, I have also observed many great public-speakers whose confidence in public-speaking has flowed into all areas of their life.

Why is confident public speaking so hard to achieve?

World renowned public-speakers are few and far between. We waited a long time for a public- speaker like Obama who in his election campaign speeches touched the minds, hearts and souls of millions of people all over the world. If you wish to succeed in being a great public speaker, you will have to be totally empowered. You will have to overcome many deep-seated issues concerning yourself. These are issues of self-esteem, how you see yourself and how you think others see you. You must know yourself and be aware of all your strengths and limitations and be willing to accept yourself as you are. To be able to speak like a Pro, involves a journey of practice until you are perfect. The entire journey is one of self-empowerment. All powerful public speakers are self-empowered. They all began by desiring to be great public speakers. They succeeded so well only because they believed in themselves and in their abilities to succeed.

Tips for beginners

The following steps will be useful to know and act on immediately:

  • Read books on effective public-speaking by different authors. After a while, you will notice that most of them offer the same advice and recommend the same steps to take. Make sure you highlight the best tips.
  • Take every opportunity to attend talks by various speakers on different topics and pay attention to how they speak and notice their different styles or how differently they handle the same topic.
  • Begin to speak up at meetings and gatherings to gain confidence in expressing your ideas. These occasions are great in preparing you to speak in front of larger groups of people.
  • Accept every opportunity to speak in public. Experience in introducing a speaker, expressing thanks, being an emcee or being a panel speaker are great opportunities to brush-up on your public-speaking skills. This is where you can put into practice the tips you have gathered from books and attending talks.

13 valuable public-speaking tips

If you have been invited to speak, what do you do next? I suggest you plan to succeed.

  • Select a topic you are worthy to speak on. Never agree to speak on just any topic.
  • Know your audience and their interests so that you can engage them
  • Develop a unique title, then develop the content
  • What will touch the audience’s hearts, stimulate their minds and energize their being?
  • It is more than just the message; it is about how you deliver it. Personalize the message
  • Always speak from your heart. Speak with passion, vitality, earnestness and enthusiasm
  • Reinforce your words with body language that comes naturally
  • Ensure your gaze sweeps the entire room so that everyone feels included
  • Modulate your voice and intonation according to the message
  • Ensure that your presentation tools add value and do not distract from your message
  • Visualize yourself enthralling your audience. You are one with your message and your audience
  • Always begin strong. First impressions last!
  • Ensure a powerful ending. Leave a lasting impression.
To be totally empowered, read “You are what you believe” and “Know yourself - the truth will set you free.” by Shahreen Kamaluddin.

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