I don’t like speaking in front of large audience especially in a stage or in a meeting. I am not confident. I feel I’m not a good speaker. It is not that I don’t know how to speak but it is because I am always concern on success of the overall delivery of my speech which gives me the fear of getting mistake. And besides, I am not comfortable the way I sound – my pitch, tone and diction. But since it’s part of the job, I don’t have other recourse but to do it.
Some people have the confidence to speak in spotlight claiming they don’t have nervous. I admire these people. But it has to bear in mind that it doesn’t take the confidence only. It’s not the ability to stand and speak before the audience but it’s more on the quality of communication. What’s the benefit of courage to speak in public if it will just pull you down with your flaws and weakness? Be both confident and fluent.
Public speaking is a skill that needs to study to achieve. Because you will not only speak all throughout on the podium but you will need to build connection, convey the message and impart lesson to your audience. It is speaking the right way in the right time and at the right place. When someone declared he can speak in public, probably it’s pure courage and not the art in public speaking. Few are those who are good in effective impromptu oratory and they usually do not declare it.
In many times I heard presenters, speakers, and even masters of ceremony (Tagalog or English) who are so fond to use blank words like “ahh”, “errrrr”, and “hmmmm”. It sounds bothering to hear and it turns to be annoying in the long run of speech. It is tedious and tiresome to guess what words the speaker will utter and besides the speaker looks pathetic when he’s groping words to utter. It slows the communication. It’s good to hear spontaneous speech. Phasing plays importance in speaking and words usage matters too.
To become good speaker you must be a good listener. Know your audience. Put yourself in their shoes by talking what you’re audience want. Listen to the audience as you are speaking. This will help you to know if you are offending and making bored the people in front of you. And you must listen also from great people since they are in a much better position to speak their wisdom and experience. You owe to listen to your audience to give them what they want to hear as this is also what you want to hear from someone who is speaking in front of you. This is called a demonstration of respect.
Good speaking comes out naturally and at its best when you speak from your heart. To speak from your heart you must know what you are speaking. Know your subject, do your assignment, study your material, prepare yourself and with these everything you will say is spontaneous. Even you are a self-proclaimed confident, do not be complacent to rely on yourself that you’re the person that can speak well anytime without preparing speech. What happen, you are just brave enough to stand in front while opening your mouth but nonsense like flavored-colored popcorn.
Preparation of your own speech at all times is still important. Don’t let others to prepare it for you because it is always best to do your own style. When doing it, it is easier to speak, internalize, feel and deliver the message you want to transmit. In this way you will have the connection with your audience. Do not imitate those you are admiring, be on your own and speak yourself. Do not copy and memorize other’s work. You do not know the feeling how it was written.
In talking for an assembly, you are building the connection with your listeners by using your skill to get their attention at all times. You must be powerful to maneuver the whole talk. Do not overconfident and complacent that you have already stored in your mind your speech. Prepare yourself, study your speech and the rest will come naturally. It is not making yourself smart but it is making yourself important.
By Alex V. Villamayor
October 25, 2014