I’m pretty sure that we’d all like to find ways to become a better speaker. It turns out that this speaking stuff is actually quite hard to do. Sure, we practice creating the best speech that we can, we stand in front of a mirror for hours rehearsing how we’re going to deliver our speech, and then we try to remember everything that we wanted to do when we are actually in front of our audience because we understand the importance of public speaking. This is all fine and good, but sometimes it’s not enough. If we really want to become the great speaker that we know that we can be, we’re going to have to come up with a set of things that we can do that will transform us from the way that we are to the way that we want to be.
Write It Down!
If we really want to become a better speaker, we need to first take the time to think about what we are going to have to do in order to improve. If you are like me, this is going to result in a list of things to do. Coming up with a list is a great first step; however, it’s what you do next that is really going to make it matter. You need to take the time to write your list down. I’m a big fan of using paper and pencil – not a computer keyboard.
The reason that this writing it down thing is so important is because what it does to you. Taking the time to use your hands to actually write out what you want to be able to accomplish causes something to happen inside of your head. Those things that that you had thought of when you were coming up with your list start to transform when you write them down. They become solid goals that you are not going to be forgetting. Writing them down allows them to stick in your memory and going forward you’ll be able to easily recall them.
Get Your Priorities In Order
The one thing that none of us seem to have too much of is time. When we decide that we want to become better speakers, all of sudden our time starts to become that much more precious. We are going to have to stop doing things that waste our time (like watching television) and start spending our time working on things that will help us to become better speakers.
One of the things that we need to be aware of is that we probably have too many things to do – there just isn’t enough time to get it all done! What this means is that we are going to have to take the time to assign priorities to what we want to be able to accomplish. The highest priority tasks are the ones that we’ll be working on right off the bat. The lower priority tasks won’t go away, but we’ll be putting them off until we find the time to get around to them.
It’s All About Good Habits
Deciding that you want to become a better public speaker is a great start. However, it’s just that – only a start. If you are really committed to this “getting better” thing, then you are going to have to make some changes in your life in order to make it happen. What this all comes down to is the simple fact that you are going to have to start doing things that will make you a better speaker – you need new habits.
Adopting new habits is really not all that hard to do. The first thing that you are going to have to do is to determine what new skill or technique you are going to want to develop. Once you’ve got that down, you are going to have to come up with a series of steps that you can take that will allow you to improve that skill. When you know what you have to do, you then simply have to go ahead and do it. When you complete this task, stop, reset, and do it again. By making a set of activities that will improve your public speaking skills a habit, you’ll become better every time that you perform the habit.
What All Of This Means For You
One of the challenges that we all face as public speakers is that we know that we can become better. Knowing that we can become better is a great first step, but then we need to take the next step and actually start to work to become better so that we can share the benefits of public speaking with our next audience. We’re never going to be able to accomplish this if we don’t first take the time to find out what steps will be required.
When we decide to become better public speakers, the very first step that we need to take is to start to write down what we want to accomplish. The process of actually putting pencil to paper causes what we want to do to become fixed in our head and we’ll be able to remember what we’re trying to do. The next thing that we’ll want to do is to get our priorities in order. There is never enough time to get everything that we want to do done. This means that we’re going to have to prioritize our tasks and work on them in the correct order. Finally, wanting to become a better speaker and becoming a better speaker are two different things. The secret to becoming a better speaker is to create habits that will improve your speaking and then executing those habits over and over again.
The great thing about public speaking is that it really is a skill. Because it is a skill, this means that we can become better at doing it. We just need to take the time to figure out the specific things that we want to improve in our speaking and then take the time to write them down, prioritize them, and then create new habits in order to become better.
Question For You: How many new habits do you think that you should create in order to become a better speaker?
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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
Congratulations – you’ve been asked to give a speech! As you sit down to use the importance of public speaking to pull this speech together, you decide that what this audience needs is one of your rousing “I overcame a mountain of obstacles” speech. Who doesn’t like that? They will be impressed with how successful you have been and will listen to your every word. Or will they? In all honesty, this “I’m so great” type of speech is that same speech that we’ve all been hearing for quite some time now. No matter if it is how someone climbed Mount Everest or how they brought a struggling company back from the grave, we’ve all heard it before. What you need is something different, but what?