Just how does one become a better public speaker? I mean let’s be serious here, you do want to get better, don’t you? Pretty much any book that you read on the subject or class that you attend in order to build up your skills will tell you the same time — if you really want to get better, then you’ve got to take the time to watch the pros at work. Great, just where do you find such pros and how can you get admitted to their speeches to watch them at work? Good news — I’m going to tell you how (and it’s free!) …
Welcome To The 21st Century
In the olden days (like about 5 years ago), if you wanted to become a better speaker then yes, you would have to pick yourself up and go to where a good speaker was giving a speech and plop yourself down and start taking notes. Thanks goodness we now live in the modern 21st Century and we no longer have to make such an effort in order to improve ourselves.
Carmine Gallo is a communications coach who faced this very problem a few years back. After doing some searching on the Internet, Carmine discovered that the free video service YouTube was a treasure trove of recorded examples of excellent speakers. Who knew?
Who Should I Watch?
So now you’ve found the Library of Congress of online videos. The problem is that there is almost too much information here. If you start searching for “speakers”, you’re going to get blown away. How about if we take a few moments and come up with a list to get you started:
- Tony Robbins: people seem to be split on what they think of Tony and his motivational message; however, from a public speaking point-of-view we don’t really care — he’s one heck of a speaker. His workshops cost thousands of dollars to attend, but on YouTube he’s there for you to study for free.
- Steve Jobs: Steve is not only a great speaker, but he also has a very good understanding of how to use multimedia to support what he’s saying. His presentations at Apple user conferences are legendary for their style and impact. Sure we don’t have an army of graphic artists working for us; however, we can learn something from Steve and he’s living proof that if you practice, practice, practice you will do a good job.
- Suze Orman: we all know Suze Orman as a no-nonsense provider of financial advice; however, she’s also a fantastic speaker. One of her best qualities is that she handles questions very well — there’s no good way to practice for them. Watch and learn!
Looking Beyond YouTube
You might think that once you’ve found YouTube, that’s all that you’ll ever need. However, the Internet is a big place and you might be interested in watching more formal speeches than you’ll be able to find on YouTube. Gallo has done some research and here are some other sites that you should be sure to check out:
- Charlierose.com: Charlie Rose is a PBS interviewer who seems to be able to gain access to just about every important person out there. This is the place to go if you want to learn how to master the one-on-one interview.
- Cisco: John Chambers, the CEO of Cisco has overcome personal difficulties in order to become a master speaker. His speeches do a fantastic job of making the complicated seem understandable. His trademark move is the trip into the audience in order to connect with people. Watch and learn how a master does it.
- Businessweek.com: sure you know about the magazine, but did you know about the web site and its videos? This is where you’ll see all of the “big” business leaders being interviewed and you can watch to see how they communicate. Hint: not all of them do a good job of it.
What All Of This Means For You
In the end, we can read all of the books, take all of the courses, and even attend all of the Toastmasters meetings that we can fit into our already busy lives, but in the end it always comes back to one thing: we’ve got to study and learn from the folks who know how to deliver a good speech.
In the old days it required a great deal of effort to seek out who the best speakers were and then to track them down when they were speaking close to where we’d be. However, in today’s electronic age, this is no longer necessary — now we can bring the speakers to us via the Internet.
In order to make the most of this powerful tool, we need to do our homework. We need to watch each speaker carefully and take good notes on what we think that they do well and where we think that they could do better. These are the notes that we’ll then be able to use to improve our own speeches. Now go out there and watch some YouTube!
Who do you think is the best speaker that people can watch on YouTube in order to become better speakers?
What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
Who do you think is the greatest communicator of all time? If I had to pick the best communicator out there right now, I believe that President Obama would win. Now the question for you, independent of your political beliefs, is how can you learn to speak more like him…?