As a trainer, coach and mentor, I have had the opportunity to see presentations by many people from all backgrounds and lifestyles. Different ways. Different means. Different styles, but all with one purpose – to inspire and motivate people.
Some people are blessed with the gift of gab. For them, speaking comes naturally. However, there are some that require some practice to be able to have a good grasp of it.
It is my firm conviction – and experience does not contradict me – that anyone can become a competent speaker. Yes, that means you too!
There are two kinds of speakers: One is someone who is very knowledgeable on a subject, but cannot communicate effectively. The other one is someone who doesn’t know much, but “talks well”. Each group of people can only go so far in their careers before they reach a roadblock. Their goal is to effectively communicate that knowledge and message to their audience.
The ability to effectively communicate what you know is the skill that makes you stand out from everyone. No matter what your background is, where you went to college (or even if you went to university) or where you grew up – if you are an expert on something and can effectively communicate that knowledge, you will surely succeed. Period.
Develop a firm desire within you that you want to get better at public speaking. Use that desire to eliminate the obstacles in your path to success and confidence. Do not give in to fear or stage fright. See them all as limitations to your success. It does not matter how long you keep fighting these limitations, as long as you do not give up. I can assure you that someday you will prevail over them. All it takes is patience, and doggedness to strive on.
How? PRACTICE. You can volunteer to speak at work, join Toastmasters, hire an expert presentation coach, you can videotape your presentation, take a presentation technique class, see a colleague who is a good presenter … the first step is just to believe that you can be better and the second step is to commit to spending time and energy to improve.
Most Youth Motivational Speakers, Conference speakers, Inspirational guest speakers and Popular Keynote Speakers all started their career with the worst note before they became so perfect and always on point each time they stand to speak.
The most common mistake of most professional speakers is trying to prove they are smart. Remember that you are on the podium for a reason. Your references speak for themselves. When you stand before an audience, and there is already a gap – you are the expert, they are not. Trying to impress your audience with your intelligence, creates more distance and could appear to be ‘arrogance.” Your job is to fill the gap, not widen it. Be modest, funny and real. Make yourself someone they can relate to. In doing so, it is easier for your to conquer your audience. The more connected the audience feels, the more they will pay attention to what you are saying.
There is no substitute for a real passion on the podium. Believe in your message and have energy around your subject, and it will translate to the public. Above all, be yourself !