Every person has the capacity to change someone’s life. Anyone who has the confidence and conviction to help can do it.
Today, I will reveal one of the secrets that I share with new members of the Los Baños Toastmasters Club. This is a simple and powerful idea.
Most professionals who joined our club are leaders. Toastmasters build leaders. But it is better known for helping people develop confidence in public speaking.
Joining Toastmasters does not magically turn new members into confident speakers. Like most people who fear speaking in public, new members find excuses not to speak.
Some of these reasons appear valid at first glance. A second look reveals that they are excuses disguised as reasons.
“I am not prepared” is the most popular excuse.
It is an excuse by those who fear speaking. It is a face-saving excuse by those who felt they have delivered a mediocre performance.
The antidote to this excuse is simple: prepare before you speak.
Preparation will give you certainty. Certainty makes a person confident.
What I am about to tell will enable you to make a difference in the lives of others.
Serve the needs of your audience.
Learn as much about your audience before you decide on your topic. Your audience is not your enemy. They are friends. They are the reasons why you need to muster the confidence to stand up and open your mouth. You can make their lives better.
What are the fears of your audiences? What are the pains you can ease? What problems you can fix? What are the limiting beliefs you can bust? People are looking for someone who can make living less of a burden.
What are their aspirations and dreams? Do they want to become wealthy, happy, and wise? How can you help them achieve their goals? People are seeking the advice of mentors. You can be a mentor to them when you speak.
Your knowledge of your audience will show you many life-changing ideas.
Find the best life-changing idea for your audience now.
Your life-changing idea does not have to be grand.
For the unhealthy, you may encourage them to eat healthy food and start an active lifestyle.
For the unhappy, you can entertain them. And you show them the door to happiness.
For the weary and tired, you may show them how to relax. You may motivate them. Or offer products and services that may refresh them.
You don’t have to give food to the starving crowd all the time. Sometimes, you only need to tell them where to find food.
Does that make sense to you?
You can find excellent ideas when you want to serve your audience.
Write your speech.
I mindmap my life-changing ideas. I may do this in five minutes, in 30 minutes, or in an hour.
You have in you something your audience needs. Bring out your ideas. Make sense of what you already know.
It is okay if you feel that you have too many ideas. You don’t have to share them all. You can pick those ideas that will best serve your audience best now.
Often, I search for more ideas. I research. I ask experts.
I mindmap again and pick the best ideas.
Then I draft my speech. I put into words, sentences, and paragraphs my life-changing ideas. I do not worry about grammar or syntax. Not yet.
This is not the speech I am going to deliver. I need to prune for fascination, freshness, clarity, and impact.
At first, read the speech loud. People aren’t going to read your speech. They will listen to you. Some words are nice to read.
My tongue may find it difficult to pronounce some words. And my audience may not hear them right. This is why I replace polysyllabic words with simple, familiar words. In Toastmasters, we deliver our speeches in English. Some speakers like highfalutin words. They say those words impressed people. I don’t speak to impress people.
I am not a native English speaker. Most of the members of my audience are not native English speakers too. I use words they can understand so they’ll hear, see, feel, and smell my message.
I rehearse for body language, eye contact, and visual aids. These will further reduce the number of words I need to use. Our body speaks. We need to be sure that it says what we need people to know.
I rehearse for vocal variety and pauses. The texture of my voice, my tone, and my pauses amplify and multiply the impact of written words.
I rehearse until the speech becomes second nature to me.
New ones may need to memorize their beginnings and endings.
Be certain about your audience’s needs and life-changing ideas so rehearsals become easy. Rehearsals multiply your confidence.
Believe me when I say that you have the capacity to change someone’s life. And that you can speak with confidence. I have shown you valuable lessons for free today. Use them.
Serve your audience’s needs. Find life-changing ideas. Put your ideas into words, sentences, and paragraphs. Rehearse your speech.
Do these so you get the best preparation before you speak.
Jef “Speaking Mentor” Menguin
P.S. The members of Los Baños Toastmasters Club meet every Wednesday at UP Los Baños from 6pm to 8pm. If you want to develop your confidence in public speaking so you can be a better leader, come and join us.
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