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Public Speaking and Connecting with People

Public speaking can apply to any situation: from addressing an audience, speaking to co-workers, to pitching ideas to clients. Many people have expressed their fears and concerns when it comes to public speaking. Some are even overwhelmed by nervousness, some have bouts of anxiety, and there are others who are able to deliver their piece with the ease of a pro.

Regardless of the situation, public speaking is a good skill to have up your sleeve. It is a tool that can be used in any corporate setting, when negotiating, presenting, and even when accepting an award. Delivering a speech effortlessly can boost a person’s confidence and open up more opportunities for themselves in the future. While accomplishing this feat is no easy task, there are many ways to climb the ladder towards being an inspirational speaker. One way to do this is by overcoming the initial reason why people fear public speaking: being criticized by the audience.

TalkShop helps its students understand and eliminate the unnecessary pressure they can put on themselves by exaggerating what they perceive to be the judgmental reactions of the audience.  It is important to understand that your audience does not care whether you deliver a good speech or not. You have been a part of audience more often than not. Ask yourself, do you normally list down every single mistake the speaker makes? Do you wonder five minutes before a presentation if the presenter will do an excellent job presenting? Do you even set expectations of being transformed by the speaker to do something out of the ordinary?

What you will realize is that, when you are a part of the audience, your main concern before, during, and even after the speech is usually unrelated to the speaker. Some familiar thoughts might include “I’m getting hungry, I hope we’re having some food after this,” “Will this speech take long? I need to use the restroom soon,” “There sure are a lot of people, I wonder if there’s anyone attractive here.”

This just comes to show that if you deliver a bad speech, no one will care, and if you deliver a good speech, people will applaud and congratulate you for doing something out of the ordinary. No one will criticize, boo, or make any violent reactions. It is socially ill-mannered and inappropriate in our society. People are more likely to sympathize with you if you do poorly so why worry?

The best preparation you can make is to know your topic inside and out to keep things conversational. It will help you relax more and permit you to feel at ease with the audience. They don’t want you to fail either, so thank them in subtle ways. A nod and a smile every once in a while will allow you to connect with them more, so your audience will not think of you as just a speaker.

Once you’ve studied your topic keep practicing in front of a mirror. The audience isn’t the real critic; you are. Video record yourself or listen to your voice. You are your harshest critic so if you do not like your speech then adjust it according to your standards. If your speech sounds good to you then it is sure to be good for the less critical audience.

Public speaking has been ranked as the #1 biggest fear but it is important to understand that this fear is created from a self-inflicted delusion of the audience. Everyone wants you to do well and you can do well. To continue your journey in becoming a great public speaker, enroll in schools that will enhance your speaking skills such as TalkShop.

Posted by TalkShop
Sheila Viesca, TalkShop CEO and Director of Communication finished her bachelor degree in Literature, masters in Entrepreneurship, and doctorate in Applied Cosmic Anthropology. She designed the Philippines' Language Competency Benchmark for the Department of Education and pioneered Integrated Language Teaching (ILT) in workshop designs and corporate communication training. You can follow her on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, LinkedIN, and Google+

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