Challenges Technical People Face When Speaking

Technical people have to learn to leave their comfort zone when giving speeches
Technical people have to learn to leave their comfort zone when giving speeches
Image Credit: David Nichols

For some odd reason, technical people seem to have a deep set fear of speaking in pubic. Now I’m a technical person, so I feel a personal linkage to this issue. Where does this problem come from? I think that the problem originates from the fact that people who have dived into a technical field more often than not are less extroverted than other people. They will often go to great lengths to avoid having themselves placed into situations where they will be required to speak in public. This can be a real disadvantage for them because often they have a great deal of technical information that they need to share with others. How can we go about fixing this problem?

What’s The Problem With Technical People?

When you have a problem doing something, you will often start to look for ways that you can overcome what is holding you back. When it comes to public speaking and technical people, one of the biggest problems that they face is that they don’t realize that this is an area in which they have issues. Most technical people have become good at a specific technical task, this means that they now think that they are good at everything. Where they may be not doing so well is when it comes to soft skills and this is where communication with others comes in. Often when technical people give speeches they don’t realize the importance of public speaking and they will be completely oblivious to the fact that they are not connecting with their audience. Over time as their audiences grow larger, their inability to communicate well can lead to their organization developing a negative reputation.

Another problem that technical people run into when it comes to public speaking is that all too often they don’t see this skill as being essential to them. When they look at their job and what they generally spend their day doing, they don’t picture themselves speaking in public. This may not happen every day or every week, but it does happen and when it happens they are generally not very good at doing it. When technical people listen to a speech, they are often willing to forgive a poor speaker as long as the speaker eventually gets to the technical “heart” of what they are talking about. As long as this content is there, all speaking sins will be forgiven. What is being missed is that the speaker is not doing an effective job of getting their message across.

Finally, technical people sometimes take refuge in the belief that technical people by their very nature are not expected to be good communicators. The technical person knows that they are good in their specific technical area and they believe that others will put up with their poor communication skills because their technical skills are so valued. They may also believe that being an effective communicator is not part of their genetic makeup. This is actually quite interesting because it is incorrect. Technical people tend to be very good listeners and because of this if they can become motivated to improve, then they can become strong communicators.

How Can Technical People Get Better At Public Speaking?

The good news here is that technical people can improve their public speaking skills. The first step in making this happen is that the technical person has to admit that they need help. This can be a tough thing for a technical person to do because we are often so good at the other things that we are responsible for. However, if we can understand that in order to become better at this public speaking thing we are going to have to get help from someone who has already mastered it, then we will have taken the first step towards becoming a better public speaker.

The next thing that a technical person is going to have to do is to find a public speaking training system that is going to work for them. There are many to choose from and we all respond differently to different types of training. We need to take the time to understand what is going to work the best for us. Once we’ve selected a training system that we believe will work for us, our next step is to become fully involved with it. Public speaking is a skill that we can only develop if we practice it. This means that we need to take the time to prepare and give speeches and get feedback on how we’ve done.

One of the most difficult things for a technical person to do when they have decided to improve their public speaking skills is to actually stick with it. It can be easy in the beginning to decide that this is an area of your life that you want to improve; however, actually having the commitment to keep working at it can be very difficult to do over time. What the technical person needs to do is to focus on the skills that they are developing. Just like when they were initially developing their technical skills, now they are developing the communication skills that will serve them during their entire career.

What All Of This Means For You

Technical people have the ability to do amazing things based on the technical knowledge that they have developed. However, because of their inward focus they are often introverts. This means that when they are called on to deliver a speech, the results are often less than stellar and prevent the delivering of the benefits of public speaking. What they need to do is to find a way to improve their public speaking skills.

One of the reasons that people with technical skills struggle when it comes to giving speeches is that they don’t realize that this is an area that they are not very good at. At the same time, they may not realize just how vital good public speaking skills are to our ability to communicate with others. Technical people will often hide behind a belief that technical people are not expected to be good communicators. This is not correct and in fact technical people have the skills to become very good communicators. In order to become better, technical people need to first admit that they need help Then they need to choose the right training program for them and take the time to become fully engaged in it. Once started, they need to stick with their training in order to develop the public speaking skills that they need.

The great thing about public speaking is that it is a skill that anyone can learn. Technical people often have limited public speaking skills by the very nature of their technical skills. If they realize that this is an area that they need to work on and if they take the time to improve themselves, then they too can become excellent public speakers who are able to share their technical knowledge with others.

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

Question For You: Do you think that technical speakers should be held to a different standard than other types of public speakers?

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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 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

When we give a speech, one of our goals for giving the speech is to find a way to use the importance of public speaking to convince our audience about something. In order to sway their opinion, we often go looking for data that will support the point that we are trying to make. Although data can be a powerful tool that can help us to get people to agree with our point-of-view, it can also turn an audience away. If we use too much data in a speech or if we present it in a way that causes our audience to tune out, then we will have hurt our chances of convincing our audience. How can use a speaker use data in the right way?