A lot of people dream about being great public speakers, confident presenters, or eloquent orators. The questions is: Where do I start to become a great speaker?
Do you know the feeling of being overwhelmed with a task because it seems to be so gigantic that the very idea of starting this journey actually paralyzes you?
It is not unusual for people to have a strong fear of public speaking, a feeling of being overwhelmed and not knowing where to start. Here are some quick tips:
THE FIRST STEP
A simple yet powerful strategy that will lead to an almost effortless journey of becoming an outstanding speaker. You have to start somewhere, and even though we know that all the magic happens outside of your comfort zone, it is better to start in it than not to start at all.
So, how can you get started if you are terrified and you refuse to be thrown in at the deep end?
As mentioned, it’s simple. Here’s the secret! You can start by watching other speakers, from the comfort of your own home and couch.
The internet offers access to recordings of the greatest speakers in history, as well as the worst.
All you have to do is to open up your phone, tablet or laptop and go to YouTube. There, you can watch the best of the best (along with the worst of the worst) in action.
Start with the big, rather obvious ones:
Martin Luther King’s: “I have a dream”;
John F. Kennedy’s: “Ich bin ein Berliner”
Winston Churchill's: “Blood, toil, tears and sweat”
After that, you can watch other speakers and speeches like TED Talks, commencement ceremonies, monologues found in popular screenplays - there is an endless amount of content for you to watch and learn from.
WATCH, OBSERVE AND ANALYZE
Here’s the catch. If you just consume the speeches and talks, you won’t get anywhere. If you want to learn, you need to watch, observe and analyze the speakers. Take notes and, as you do this more often, you’ll start noticing techniques, start identifying the speaking tools that you like, and others that you don’t like. Again, you have to take notes.
USE WHAT YOU LIKE
What do you do with all this knowledge that you will eventually acquire? Put it to use, of course. Try the techniques you saw from other speakers. Copy what you like and see what works for you and what doesn’t.
You can do this during everyday conversations, during small presentations at work, at dinner with friends, etc.
Take your time, but don’t be afraid. Start small and see where the journey will take you.
Follow this advice and I guarantee that you will become a better speaker, not without effort, but with a very comfortable start.