An Introduction to Public Speaking
It feels like one of the biggest sins is not being taught public speaking growing up.
We may have had a few classes on it, but not enough.
I remember the first time I had to give a speech, I was in the 2nd grade.
And at that point, I didn’t feel much nerves.
I was a happy go lucky kid who was just focused on having fun.
But as I got older, the social constructs came into place & the concept of speech anxiety started to hit too.
It’s as though a lot of the professors expected us to know the art of speaking.
Having someone give formal speeches without teaching them the fundamentals is like giving someone a car when they don’t know how to drive.
Okay…probably not THAT serious, but you get the point.
However, with information, you begin to have power.
The power to know that there is clarity in a subject.
It’s as though you were walking a dark room with a very dim candle.
But information gives you a flashlight.
Being given the information is just one part.
You still have to APPLY the information.
Today’s blog is going to give you an introduction to public speaking.
You will learn what public speaking is, the causes of speech anxiety & the purpose of a speech.
If everything sounds a little basic, then good!
The fundamentals always sound basic.
But once you learned an act, you realize that the fundamentals were all that mattered in the first place.
What is Public Speaking?
- Public is defined as perceived.
- Speaking is defined as talking.
Anytime someone is a receiver to your communication, then you are technically public speaking.
‘Even a conversation?’
Yes, even a conversation.
However, the public speaking that we know is simply a remix to that.
The general notion of public speaking is when we are speaking in front of a crowd.
A crowd is a group of people who are all located in a similar area that perceives your information.
Therefore, 2 parties are involved.
- The crowd.
And the relationship between you and the crowd is your speech.
Good so far?
What is Speech Anxiety?
Speech anxiety is the traditional nerves that people feel leading up to a speech.
The nerves can cause physical, emotional & mental stress.
Public speaking has been cited as the number 1 fear on the planet.
‘Even above death?’
Even above death.
The reasons for speech anxiety depend on the person.
Here are a few reasons why:
1. New act
Like I said at the beginning of the article, we were rarely given an introduction to public speaking.
Therefore, it is a new act for us.
Whenever we do a new act, we tend to be in our heads a little too much.
Imagine when you first started learning how to drive.
You weren’t just chilling.
You have to PHYSICALLY be aware of the moment.
And it wouldn’t have been astonishing if you had some nerves along the way.
2. Self Conscious
Another big culprit of speech anxiety is feeling self-conscious.
People think they look ugly in front of an audience.
This is known as the illusion of transparency.
The illusion of transparency is when you feel like the internal nerves are leaking out to the public.
You feel as though your speech anxiety is being observed with a magnifying glass in front of the audience.
3. Lack of Preparation
I’ve also seen people who are great speakers as a whole.
But they just didn’t prepare.
If you don’t prepare & are not proficient with thinking on top of the head, then you will struggle.
That level of uneasiness is due to a lack of clarity.
The lack of preparation is sad because this type of speech anxiety is purely self-inflicted.
Gotta prepare better champ.
Overcoming Speech Anxiety
‘Can we overcome speech anxiety?’
Public speaking is a skill.
Therefore, it can be learned, practiced and mastered.
In the beginning stages, it’s okay to feel nervous.
Courage is not the absence of fear, but continuing despite it.
A platitude, I know. But purely true.
Next, practice your speech.
You can practice your speech from home or in front of a few friends.
Create your speech & run through it 5 times to perfection without messing up.
Anytime you mess, up, start back over.
As you practice, recording always helps.
Being able to see yourself from a 3rd party perspective helps tremendously with your progress.
Keep practicing & polishing up your speech.
A day or 2 before the speech, just relax.
If you prepared, then you are good to go.
The buffer zone of relaxation allows you to detach some feelings of fear from your speech.
What is the Purpose of Public Speaking?
There are multiple different purposes for public speaking.
You are creating a speech with an intent.
The intent can range from:
–Entertaining: This is when you are being funny or storytelling a narrative.
–Informative: Informative comes down to teaching the audience something.
– Challenging preconceived ideas: This speech style is when you are trying to get the audience to think. You are having them envision a new mode of thinking.
You can combine all 3 of the intents that I just mentioned above.
Or you can add your own intents as well.
I only named off a few intents of many.
Ultimately, the purpose of public speaking is to leave the audience better off than they were before your speech.
‘So the main purpose of public speaking is to give valuable information to the crowd?’
‘And how do I know what is valuable?’
That comes down to you knowing the audience and/or yourself.
You can ask the host what kind of audience will be in the event.
But if you don’t have access to the host or the host doesn’t know what kind of audience will be there, then focus on what YOU are passionate about.
Your passion is a secret language for the audience.
When you truly care about a topic, it spills over to the audience & forces them to care as well.
Us humans have mirror neurons.
And mirror neurons allow us to feel what others are feeling.
I once had a lady make me interested in knitting.
Not because I was interested in knitting.
But because SHE was interested.
She told me the history of the field, showed me her past work & also taught me some fundamentals.
If you are enthusiastic about something, then you can make anything interesting.
The Best Way To Get Better is to Practice
Have an abundance mindset towards public speaking.
A big reason people never begin public speaking is that they feel like they only have ONE chance to prove themselves.
That is not the case.
You have many opportunities.
The best way to get better is to practice!
At first, public speaking seems like a pain in the ass.
But the more that you practice, it becomes fun.
The weird thing is that you feel a thrill.
The nerves are still there, but you begin welcoming it with open arms.
There are a few thrills out there like public speaking.
Now that you have an introduction to public speaking, begin putting the fundamentals to action!
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– ArmaniTalks 🎙️🔥