Public speaking is amplified conversation. Those who can express themselves through public speaking get the opportunity to lead others. With everything being equal, those who have the confidence to speak have an unfair advantage in promotion, recognition, rewards. For some, public speaking is like a rocket to success.
And if you are here because you want to become a better public speaker, please continue. Everything that I am going to say and show you can help you. Everything is of great value, and most of them you only need to pay forward.
You don’t have to jump from one website to another. Instead, experience everything you are about to learn. It is not the amount of knowledge that will make you a better speaker. It is the intensity of experience that will make the biggest difference.
I believe in you.
You have what it takes to become a public speaking rockstar.
I know that this does not sound right for most people. Most of us fear speaking in front of others that they have chosen to talk to themselves, silently.
Your ticket to public speaking is your voice box. You only need to use your instruments to turn sound into words that ordinary people can understand. Unless you are deaf and mute, your chances to become good in public speaking are very high.
You can come up with useful and meaningful ideas.
People get easily affected by an idea. Have you noticed the number of people who react to a news article title even without reading the content? Ideas influence people. A lot of people get influence even by crazy and stupid ideas.
And though we are swimming in an ocean of ideas every day, people thirst for great ideas. I bet my 1000 pesos that you have many ideas. I bet you have great ideas. Public speaking can make your great ideas visible. Your great ideas will show how unique you are. And sometimes, your great ideas may change the world.
There is a time to listen. There is a time to speak. Ensure that you are ready when it is your time to speak.
You have stories to tell.
People love to hear stories. And I am sure that you have stories to tell. Everyone has stories to tell so you have no valid reason to discount or disqualify yourself. Your stories are unique. No one has the same experience as you. When you decide to share with us your stories, you will enrich our lives.
This is why I believe in you.
And I am praying that at this very moment you believe in yourself too.
You can learn public speaking.
There is a science to public speaking. You can learn how to produce great ideas, find the right audience, pick your core message, use story structure, and implement influencing techniques.
You can also learn the art of public speaking by deliberate and mindful experience.
You already have everything you need to become a speaker that people love to listen to and follow.
And because you are here, I know that you have the motivation to move further in your public speaking journey.
My mission is to provide you with proven, practical, and appreciative ways to learn public speaking.
I will teach you what works for me and some of my friends and mentors.
When I started working on my public speaking skills, I interviewed dozens of people. Speakers have different styles and different purposes. So, not everything that works for others is useful to me.
I am not into theatrics. I love authentic speakers., someone like Barbra Streisand (who, I learned later was not comfortable with public performance).
I will show you the results of my experiments.
I learn best when I experiment.
In 2004, I became a member of Toastmasters. In my first two years as a member, I delivered about 350 speeches. I only wrote 80 speeches; some speeches I delivered five to ten times by visiting various clubs where I was allowed to speak.
Each time I deliver a speech, I make tiny improvements in content, organization, and delivery.
I first developed this habit when I was in the seminary. I noticed that those who are excellent retreat masters rehearsed their “challenge talks” for hours. They take “saving souls” very seriously. Because even those who have delivered challenge talks hundreds of times keep the habit of improving their speeches, I found the motivation to rehearse my speeches too.
I will share with you the secrets of professional speakers.
Professional dancers rehearse regularly. Professional singers rehearse regularly. Professional boxers prepare themselves for months for a boxing match that may last only in minutes. The first step to becoming a professional speaker is to do what professional speakers do.
I will show you how to rehearse your speeches.
Some say that practice makes perfect. This is not true to me. Practice does not make perfect. It makes things permanent. Wrong practice will not make a crappy speech good.
I rehearse. My intention is not to memorize a speech, but to understand how I can improve for greater impact. If I could rehearse before a live audience, I will call that a blessing.
I have a unique view of speech delivery. I believe that the speech that I deliver today is a rehearsal to the next. This is why I am doing rehearsals like it’s the real deal.
I tailor-fit speeches to my audiences. It is unfair to them if I deliver a speech designed for other audiences. This is why rehearsals are important.
But I won’t limit you to my style. This is why I reach out to other speakers so they too can share their “secrets” with you.
I won’t overwhelm you with so many ideas. I will strive to give you one powerful idea at a time.
Sure, there are articles where you’ll get 17 or more ideas. But you don’t have to apply all of them at the same time. Have these articles as ready-reference.
Identify Limiting Beliefs
There was a time that I was afraid to speak in front of others. Even today, there are situations when I am not comfortable delivering a speech.
The biggest problem is in the inner game. Public speaking is a mental exercise. And if my brain tells me lies, those lies become my reality.
I think this is also true for others.
So, if the first step to learning how to become a public speaking rockstar is to address these lies.
Examine the stories we tell ourselves.
There are so many speaking fictions around. These speaking fictions get passed from one person to another until everyone believes it as fact. Even speaking coaches teach them. Public speaking fiction spread like fake news.
I know that if I can separate fact from fiction, I can end the self-sabotage. I will know the real enemy, and I will defeat it.
I hear many of these fictions from Filipinos. Likely, you have not heard from all of them. But I know you can relate to at least one.
An excellent public speaker must be good at English.
This speaking fiction is BS spread by some speech teachers who want us to learn English. Many of them are well-intentioned people, I know. However, some of them firmly believed that the ability to speak the English language fluently makes one sound intelligent.
Therefore, if you want people to listen to you, you’ve got to become a good English speaker.
Some schools have an “English only” policy. However, I am sure that many policymakers have read evidence-based research that advocates the importance of expressing oneself in the mother tongue.
Your ability to become an excellent public speaker has no connection to English. Many people whose first language is English fear public speaking. The language does not make you more intelligent either. So, cut the crap.
If you can deliver your message in a way that your audience can understand, do that. If you can speak Visayan to a Visayan audience, do that.
Because everything that will make it difficult for people to understand you is noise.
I have to speak without fear.
We speak without fear most of the time. We speak without fear when we are laughing with friends. We speak without fear when we are in conversation with people we trust. We speak without fear when we know that we will not fail.
But it is okay to have fears.
Because we fear when something is at stake, fear appears when we don’t know the performance outcome. Fears occur when we know that our audience may make decisions we don’t want.
Fear is normal. You will experience different levels of fear unless you have a fear-deficit disease.
What we can do instead is to work on some exercises that may help us convert our fear energy into confidence and enthusiasm.
It is okay to be nervous.
I cannot show that I am nervous.
Yes, you can. Your audience knows that most people get nervous when doing public speaking. They completely understand. They are on your side. Nervousness is normal to us, human beings.
Of course, there will be greater expectations if one announces that he is the “best motivational speaker in the Philippines” or is the “best speech coach.” But even those people get nervous too.
Great actors, athletes, and performers get nervous.
You may not notice it because you pay attention to their display of skills. They know that they are scared too, but they pay more attention to more important things: the championship, the audience, or the prize.
As a beginner, don’t be too harsh on yourself. It is okay to be nervous.
That means you have uncontrolled energy. When you learned how to harness your energy, you will speak like a world-class speaker. You will get there soon.
Nervousness will make my performance worse.
Nervousness will make your performance worse. I won’t say that this is not true. People anxious about their performance waste much time worrying.
That means they fail to have enough time understanding their audience, zeroing on their message, planning for speech delivery and audience involvement, and spending time in rehearsals.
They imagined the worst and made it happen.
When you are nervous, your body releases extra energy. Because you will perform, your brain tells your body to produce more. You can fight it, or you can harness it.
You can choose to spend your time understanding your audience, speech preparation, and rehearsal.
Then, by the time you get to speak in front of a crowd, you will be able to use your energy to serve your purpose. It is both a mind switch and physical exercise. When your body knows what you ought to do, it feels like riding a bicycle.
You will still be nervous, but you will pay more attention to what’s ahead of you.
People will laugh at me when I fail.
Your audience isn’t bad people. Speaking is a gift we give to our audience. They won’t laugh when you fail. They won’t even know if you fail.
I have seen many speakers have too much confidence; their speaking style borders on arrogance. As a result, people don’t like them. And because they don’t like them, they don’t listen to their message.
People will like you when you are sincere and authentic. Pay more attention to your audience because they will like you if they feel like you.
I cannot speak well because I am an introvert.
I am an introvert too. That means that I am okay even when I am not at a party tonight. I can be a monk. I spend my time planting herbs, vegetables, and ornamentals.
But being an introvert has nothing to do with effective public speaking because an extrovert is not necessarily a great public speaker.
Even extroverts have public speaking fear.
It is a human thing. Extroverts may have more exposure, and that’s a good thing. You can build your skills and get more exposure too. You will do that because you have something important to say — and you have dreams you want to realize.
You can find more public speaking fiction. If the information you get prevents you from moving forward, it is likely not good for you.