Speaking in Public

man-person-suit-united-states-of-americaThe intern made a little list on her jotter, the items were the things she feared about speaking in public. Our talk was long overdue. Here are two items from her list:

  • Not sure if what she said would make sense
  • Fear of making [grammatical] mistakes while speaking

The fears she expressed are the same fears we all contend with, whether it be an attempt to master public speaking or writing or singing…anything we aspire to learn which takes us out of our comfort zones. I thought to share the things which came up during our discussion. I believe they can be applied to many other areas of our lives.

Build Yourself

Build Your Mind. Expose yourself to information. Read books from many different genres (textbooks and manuals, fiction, history, biographies, etc). Associate with like-minded people, friends who will challenge you to stretch, to aim at excellence. Attend conferences, seminars, and workshops. A number of non-profit bodies organise self development programmes for young people. If you learn of a university lecture taking place, go attend it. For Dale Carnegie’s The Art of Public Speaking is a classic you should read. It is good both for public speaking and for self development. 

Build Your Spirit. Fellowship with God. Read the Bible, meditate on God’s Word. Two persons can say the exact statement but the words will come forth with differing impact. One comes forth with substance, the other just plain words.

Believe in Yourself

Approach Life with Confidence. Trust in your abilities.

Know this truth: You will make mistakes.

It’s not a curse. Learn from these mistakes as they happen. Embrace mistakes as a part of your learning, of your progress. They must not deter or discourage you from reaching your goal. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.

Prepare Yourself

Continue to gather the resources you need to build yourself as you make progress. If grammar is the problem, get a grammar textbook. Then, practice, practice, practice. Seize every opportunity to rehearse – as you commute from home or school, at the times when you are alone. Schedule a time to simulate scenarios that could make you jittery. Do what you dread in advance. 

Seize Every Opportunity

At the end, you just need to be a bit bolder. Go ahead and test your speaking skills at every opportunity you get. It will only be a matter of time before you notice certain positive changes in yourself.

  • Your self-confidence will increase.
  • Your carriage and bearing will come across as positive.
  • And you will have built a solid system for mastering other skills you desire by following the same steps.

Related: Slideshow, How to Make a Good Presentation

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