7 Doable Public Speaking Advice for Every Young Person
You have no idea how much you are losing out of life because of your fear of speaking before a group of people. The friends you could have had, the business opportunities that could have happened but didn’t, the heights you could have attained in your career, the great memories never created, the stories that will never be told. You just have no idea.
Or maybe you do. You know this fear is not just slowing you down but has put your life to a halt. You watch people you know you are better than get ahead while you sit on the sidelines acting like you are okay with it. You know you are not okay with it.
You want to change this. You might have even watched some videos on public speaking. You may have taken some steps and had momentary victory over this fear. But it seems to come back to tell you were just lucky. If you are ever going to live to your full potential, you MUST start today to challenge your fear of public speaking. In this video, I’m going to give you seven actionable steps to get started dealing with this demon that is more dreaded than death itself.
Watch “7 Doable Public Speaking Advice for Every Young Person” in the video below
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- Look for Opportunities to speak before a small group
If I could get good at speaking before a group of people to the point of getting paid to speak, anyone could. I was terrible. Growing up, I would shy away from any opportunity to speak before a few people. I had a million “what ifs” record tapes that would play so loud in my head, that I could neither hear nor remember anything else.
When I got sick and tired of entertaining this fear, I took the step to look for a safe opportunity to speak. I found and attended my first Toastmasters Club meeting. I was so fascinated that I signed up to deliver my first speech the next meeting. That commitment left me with no option but to prepare and deliver my speech. That first speech, as bad as it was, launched me into my journey of public speaking. Look out and seize the next available opportunity to speak. Commit to it and follow the next step.
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- Write and Practice
If you know what you are going to say and how you are going to say it, wouldn’t that make a difference in your confidence? Absolutely. People are reluctant to speak because they are afraid of being judged. “What if I forget what I have to say?” “What if I don’t make sense?” “What if I make a fool of myself? These are questions that go through your mind.
Once you get an opportunity to speak, take the time to write your speech. Fine tune it as you rehearse. If you are to speak for 10 minutes, spend at least 120 minutes rehearsing your speech. It is best if you spread this time through different days so that you can sleep over it. This will help you internalize your speech rather than cramming it. If you are starting out, this exercise will likely not eliminate your nervousness but early preparation will increase your confidence level when you step up to speak
- Know your stuff
So what if you are going to be asked questions impromptu, how do you rehearse then? If you are going to be speaking on anything as an expert, you have to know your stuff. Study your materials extensively. Know your audience. Understand the purpose of your being there to speak. And stay within the scope. You will find that you can anticipate responses if you really get to know who is seated in front of you.
The good think about rehearsing your speech is that once you have delivered effectively; you get more confident to respond to questions. Having adequate knowledge about your subject will increase you confidence.
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- Speak to one person
The most effective way to communicate with a group of people is to speak to one person at the time. Having a conversation with someone is not as daunting as speaking to a crowd. Instead of staring at the ceiling, and avoiding to make eye contact, pick the most interested person in the audience and speak to that on one person at every moment. Switch to another person at interval.
What this does is that it makes you appear more confident and interested in the audience. And as you are speaking to one person, every other person in the audience feels like you are speaking to them. It also helps you zero down your focus to individuals rather than the crowd.
- Remember to Pause
Often, out of anxiety, there is the temptation of wanting to rush through what you have to say so that you can get off the spotlight. Then you forget to pause and breathe. There is a saying that goes around at my club; to speak is human; to pause is divine. The pause is one of the most powerful moments of every great speech. [pause] It’s perfectly okay to pause and recollect your thoughts while at the spotlight.
Here is a take away: your nervousness is not as visible to your audience as you think or feel. Your mind is over exaggerating it. Never apologize for being nervous. Pause, Breathe and speak.
- Repeat! Repeat! Repeat!
Developing the skill to communicate effectively before a group of people is like staying healthy. You have to keep eating right. Once you have taken that first step, resolve to accept any opportunity to speak. When I joined Toastmasters Club, I resolved to take on any opportunity to speak. Within 18 months, I had gone from the nervous speaker to winning speech competitions from my club, to the Area, Division and then District competition with representatives from other countries.
If there is one thing you should take away from this video, this is it. Decide to accept any request to speak. Decide to take on the next speaking challenge. And then the next… in the words of Mark Twain, “Do the things you fear most and the death of your fear is certain”
- What’s the worst that could happen?
If you are still thinking, what if all these don’t work for me?
Well, What if it does? What if you discover that you are a better speaker than you ever thought you were? In my years of meeting people join Toastmasters to develop their speaking skill, nine out of ten times, they turn out better than they thought they were. You’ll never know until you try. On the other hand, what’s the worst thing that could happen?
What’s one lesson you are taking away from this video? Tell us in the comment section below. If you found this video helpful, give it thumbs up and share with someone. If you are yet to subscribe to our channel, this is likely a good time to subscribe. Until next time, YOUR SUCCESS MATTERS.