Recently, I have a privilege to attend a 3 hour public speaking course. It is pretty short but good enough for a starter like myself.
Let me share with you some of the lessons I have learnt during the short span.
1. Overcome ourselves.
Well, my dad is the one who encouraged me and my brother to go for this course. I guess everyone knows that being able to speak in front of many is just one of the things that set us apart from the rest. Overcoming ourselves makes us one step there I guess. So for those of you who have fears, do challenge your fears as it will bound to make you stronger! Those of you who have done just that, give yourself a pat on that shoulder because it is not easy! During this course, the instructor praised everyone who comes for this lesson because it meant that we are moving!
2. Good Energy!
If you attend some outdoor functions like family fun day or if you are early for an event, take notice for the first time the songs being played at the background. Are the lively always? That is it! Lively songs brings about “energy” that moves people. It gives the ambiance and liveliness you would want your listeners to have! So do not belittle the small details!
3. Overcoming Fear / Anxiety on Stage.
Give yourself a boost of confidence by standing feet apart to central yourself infront of your audience. Deep breathing and glance across every eyes of your audiences. Looking at the forehead or nose doesn’t help because it just makes people feel uncomfortable.
4. Practice Makes Perfect? No! Setting Clear Intention Makes it Perfect!
They say practice your speech and things will be perfect. Well, it sure will help you in lessening that fear you have in you but what if you were to miss a few words or forgot your script? Well, fear not as long as your intentions are clear. Who will remember that you have forgot your words? Yes, only you will know! So knowing your intentions will help you put your message across at ease.
Example. If you were to teach your student to drive a car, your intention is simple. Student will be able to drive a car. Now, to have your intentions clear, the next step is to make small intentions that will lead you to achieving your main objective. This step when referred here may be first teaching the student about the car and how it functions, then knowing the traffic rules and on the road driving and so on and so forth till the driving exam and eventually reaching the goal.
This means bringing audiences from their understanding of Point A to Point B. Note that point B is the objective and having a clear intention is important so that we will be able to look at whether the speech is conforming to that.
5. Keeping your audiences.
I think everyone would agree with me that keeping the attention of audiences are hard. Sometimes we fall asleep at lessons or presentations of people just going on and on like a machine gun. Well, today I learnt that in order to keep the attention of audiences, we have to have a 2 directional approach. Asking a 100% response question and hearing this feedback will give us a feel of the audience’s attentiveness.
Eg. Question 1. How many of you hope to be a good public speaker? How many of you agree with me that life in Singapore is rather fast-paced?
Note that the questions are a yes or a no answer which triggers a 100% Response! This brings audiences back to the same level of thought altogether. Of course you will have to as questions that are somehow related to your speech!
All we need to have to be a public speaker is with us everywhere we go. Therefore we are able to speak at anytime. These are the tools of communication:
Eyes – Look at your audience and see them looking back at you!
Ears – Listen to what your audience ask or feedback to you!
Body – Body language speaks a lot. Gestures play a part too.
Mouth – Definitely you will need this to speak.
7. Build Experiences.
People learn better and faster if they can relate to themselves. Through games, I learn that somethings are learnt best through experiences rather than speaking on and on just hoping that the audiences will understand. We had games during the session and these games just forge a deep impression till now. I guess experience makes comprehension easier and allows us to remember it clearer. It is the creative part in our right brain that we remember how this lessons through the games we had. Building experiences is surely a powerful method to bring across intentions fast and safely!
8. Gratitude to questions being thrown at us.
In everywhere around the world, starting when we were schooling, I think most of us can picture ourselves asking teacher some questions and being laughed at by our fellow classmates or teacher for asking “Stupid” questions. Well, encouragement is what we need in life isn’t it? And to have questions thrown at us probably meant that someone wants to know more about what we are trying to bring across. Being gratitude will allow audience to feel appreciative when they ask question. Through this, I learnt to thank every audience for questions. This makes communication two directional and also meant that your audience are pondering over what you have said. There are no “Stupid” questions because you never know what more knowledge are hidden in this questions waiting to be explored.
9. Practice in front of people who grades you.
Practice makes perfect and having people to grade you while your practice will allow you to learn something about yourself. It can help you to improve on your speech and it boost your confidence when you discover the areas that you do best in when you didn’t even know.
Well, I can’t say that I can speak well now, but definitely I am more confident than I was before. This was what I learnt and I hope it will benefit you just the way it did for me. Have a great day!