Congratulations – you have the ability to stand up in front of an audience and give a speech. Now what? If you are like most of us, you probably want to get better at this thing that we call speaking. Wanting to get better is a good thing, knowing exactly how to go about doing that is a completely different thing! The bad news is that there is not one magical thing that you can do that will transform you into a better speaker and allow you to share the importance of public speaking with your audience. However, it turns out that there are a number of steps that you can take that will make this happen.
It’s All About Goals
You can’t become better if you don’t know what you want to achieve. What you are going to want to do for yourself is to set some big goals. After you have done this, you need to sit back and spend some time visualizing yourself being successful. A good way to go about setting goals is to take the time to write down a statement of achievement. It’s the visualization of yourself achieving your goal that will make this goal real to you.
Get Some Coaching Help
In order to become a better speaker, you need to realize that you can’t do it all by yourself. You are going to need the help of somebody who knows how to speak well. You need a coach. You are going to want to have your coach watch you give a speech. If they can’t be there, then at least have them watch a videotape of your presentation. As they give you feedback, take It in and spend time trying to understand what they are telling you. This may be some of the most valuable feedback that you will ever receive!
Pick Your Feedback
Every time that we give a speech, we will always get feedback. The feedback that we get will come from a number of different sources. The trick to feedback is that you need to understand that not all of it is going to help you to become a better speaker. Some people just feel obligated to give you feedback after any speech that you give. What you are going to have to learn how to do is to take the feedback that you find to be useful and then discard the feedback that has no value to you. If you can learn to do this then all of sudden the feedback that you keep will start to become more valuable.
I’m not sure – do I even have to cover this one? If you want to become a better speaker, then you are going to have to change how you give a speech. If you are going to be making changes to how you speak, then you are going to have to take the time to try out your new techniques. This means that you are going to have to practice what you are going to be saying before you give it. The big question that always comes up is how many times do you have to practice a speech before you are ready to deliver it? I believe that the answer to this question is 7. That seems to be just enough times to allow you to get all of the bugs out of the speech and yet not so many times that you slide into “robot speak” when you are delivering the speech for real.
One of the things that I believe that I don’t do very well is celebrate my successes. We are generally working on several different goals when we are trying to become a better speaker. As we accomplish these goals it can at times look like we still have a long way to go in order to achieve our objective. This can become a bit disheartening. The way to keep our enthusiasm up is to make sure that every time we achieve a goal we take some time to celebrate our accomplishment. This does not have to be a big deal – I like to eat some chocolate in order to celebrate.
What All Of This Means For You
Public speaking like so many other things that we do is a skill. What this means for us is that if we decide that we want to become better public speakers who can share the benefits of public speaking with our audiences, we need determine how we want to go about doing that and then take steps to make it happen. The good news is that what we have to do is a simple set of straight forward actions.
The first thing that we need to do is to set goals for improving our speaking ability. We have to have a good understanding of what we are trying to improve. Next we need to understand that in order to improve, we need to get outside help. This means that we’re going to need to find a coach. Every time that we give a speech we’ll get feedback. We need to develop the talent that is required to be able to pick though the feedback that we receive and select the feedback that can help us the most. It almost goes without saying, but if we want to get better at speaking, we need to take the time to prepare for each and every speech that we give. Finally, the journey to become a better public speaker can be long. We need to make sure that we take the time to celebrate our successes as they happen so that we’ll be motivated to continue on our journey.
Becoming a better public speaker is not something that happens overnight. Rather, it is the result of a process. We need to create a plan for how we are going to improve and then we need to execute that plan. The good news is that once we do this, we will have become the public speaker that we always wanted to be!
Question For You: When you are selecting a coach, what characteristics should you be looking for in them?
Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Communicator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Communicator Newsletter are now available. Subscribe now: Click Here!
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
So what makes a speech a good speech? I think that we can all agree that one of the most important things that we need to be able to do is both capture and hold on to our audience’s attention in order to show them the importance of public speaking. Although this may sound like a simple thing to do, it turns out that it’s actually quite difficult to do. We may be able to so some sort of crazy thing at the start of our speech that will cause our audience to stop what they are doing and take notice of us, but that’s not going to be enough to hold their attention. What we need are some strategies that we can use to make our audience want to pay attention to our speech.