3 Ways NOT To Make A Difference To Your Public Speaking
Contributed by Victoria Mintey November 27, 2017
Click bait, BuzzFeed, check lists and top tens. I can’t get enough of it.
I fall for their appeal every time. So, naturally, I wanted to share my own pithy, punchy, pocket-sized remedy for public speaking which is readily digestible and fit for your busy lives.
It won’t cause heartburn or spoil your appetite for more. So, dear reader, here are my top three things that will never help your public speaking or presentations.
1. Reading About It
Ho, ho the sweet irony that a prolific article contributor such as myself should start with this bombshell.
I am now going to tell you the truth. Reading about public speaking won’t help you. It will educate you on where the gaps are; what you’ve been missing; new approaches you’ve not considered; highlight things you didn’t know about presenting. But unless you actually try any of these new ideas or practise any of your new-sworn confidence and exuberance, you will never make a difference to your public speaking.
2. Watching Others Do It
I love a TED talk and regularly share my favourites with my network. But TED (and anything else ‘worth spreading’) is about great ideas.
I share what interests me. I’m not sharing Brene Brown or Simon Sinek to extol their use of pause, pathos or iambic pentameter. I’m not watching and sharing these videos because I think you should emulate their speaking style – because it is theirs. You need to find yours.
Whilst we can admire and applaud, be motivated and moved to try harder by these people, we must not try to be them. Rather than watch and learn – watch and leave the sofa. Get up, be, do, try, fail, experience and start crafting your own style.
3. Winging It
I hear from my clients time and again. “It’ll be fine. I did practise… in my head. I know what I’m going to say. That info is on the slides so…uhhh.”
Just the idea of public speaking can make us so uncomfortable that we procrastinate and avoid practising out loud. It is not enough to know what you are going to say.
Dear reader, you know me well enough by now to know – what you say is the mere tip of the iceberg. Practising how you say it and getting some feedback from a coach or colleague is going to make all the difference to your impact on an audience.
Rehearsal and feedback will ensure that you make the most of your next speaking opportunity; that it will be worth the hard work and the worry; and you’ll find out that winging it was never the answer.
A final thought from the eminent Malcolm Gladwell.
“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.”