Getting To Great – How Great Speakers Are Made

by drjim on April 2, 2013

To bake a great speaker required the heat of stressful circumstances…

To bake a great speaker required the heat of stressful circumstances…
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I’m pretty sure that it would be safe to say that we’d all like to become better public speakers. The challenge that we face is that nobody is just exactly sure how to make this happen. I’d like to be able to tell you that because of the importance of public speaking, it’s easy to become better, but the truth is that more often than not it takes some stressful circumstances to help us to reach the next level.

No Time Creates The Best Speeches

In order to become a great public speaker, you need to be able to create a good speech and deliver it. What I’ve discovered over time is that the more time that you have to create a speech, the lower quality the speech is going to be.

I can’t really explain why this is so. However, I believe that it may have something to do with the simple fact that when you have a lot of time, there is almost no sense of urgency when you are creating the speech. You have all the time in the world to put it together and somehow that comes out in the speech itself.

On the other hand, some of the best speeches that I’ve ever given have been created with very limited time. You know how those requests go: “Hey, could you give a speech to this audience tomorrow?” (or even worse, today?) It’s these speeches that get written in a hurry, practiced just a few times, and then presented that seem to do the best job of connecting with our audience.

Once again, I can’t really explain it, it just is. The next time you get asked to give one of these “hurry up” speeches, appreciate it for what it really is: a learning and growing experience. Seize it and make the most of it.

How To Become An Expert

Although you may not be aware of it, something magical happens each and every time that you give a speech. The audience that you are talking to starts to see you as being an expert on the subject that you are talking about.

Being perceived by an audience as an expert is a very good thing indeed. Very quickly you can become the “go-to” person when it comes to the topic that you’ve been talking about. Needless to say, this can be a real boost to your career.

The 5 Things That Are Part Of Every Speech

When we are creating a speech, we tend to focus on the words that we are going to be saying. I agree that these are very important; however, this is not all that there is. It is very important that we keep in mind the simple fact that our audience has a total of 5 senses and as we create a speech we need to do our best to reach each one of these senses.

As you build your speech, keep your audience’s different senses in mind. Think about where you’ll be standing when you speak and work in some movements and some eye contact that will allow you to stimulate your audience’s visual senses. The more of yourself that you can work into your speech, the more of an emotional connection you’ll be able to establish with your audience. Finally, make sure that you use pauses and changes in your volume when you deliver your speech. This will keep your audience’s ears engaged and they’ll listen to your every word.

What All Of This Means For You

It’s not easy to become a better speaker. What happens is that we reach some level of skill and it turns out that it is a lot easier to stay there instead of reaching for the next level. However, if we are willing to make the effort, that next level is just there waiting for us — that is one of the benefits of public speaking.

If you want to become an expert on any topic, just make the effort to go talk to an audience about that topic. Simply by doing this, you’ll be seen as being the expert that everyone else wants to be. Make sure that every speech that you give uses all 5 of your senses and connect with your audience’s senses.

Although breaking out of our comfort zone can be a scary thing to do, we all know that it is something that we’re going to have to do someday if we ever want to reach the next level of speaking. Make a promise to yourself that starting with your next speech this is what you are going to do. No, it’s never easy, but the results are well worth the effort!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: What do you think the best way to get your audience to use all of their senses during your next speech is?

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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Giving a speech in a business environment, specifically to a group of senior managers, can be one of the most difficult speeches that any of us will ever be called on to give. However, even this type of speech can be done smoothly and will allow you to be seen as an effective communicator if only you take the time to follow the following suggestions.

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