YBC Academy : Public Speaking

Public Speaking Defined:
Public Speaking is simply communication to an audience primarily through structured speech. Communication through public speaking usually seeks to inform, persuade, motivate and, or entertain the audience. Public speaking is one of the most powerful tools of effective communication, yet one of the most feared. However it is also one of the most needed and relevant skills for leaders, entrepreneurs, business persons, and people wanting “influence,” to have.

Types of Public Speaking
Public speaking can be seen as:
• Oratorical, for example those given at graduations by valedictorians.
• Motivational Speech which influences the audience to take action.
• Debate, where the speaker justifies his/her points by presenting logical argument to support them
• Special Occasions, for example, the Best Man speech at a wedding
• Forensic, which is typically a public speaker in training

The Importance of Public Speaking:
Public speaking skills are important to build connections and maintain relationships in the speakers’ personal lives and careers. It aids with progression in personal and professional lives; and is a key to affecting decisions and changes in favour of the speaker. In other words, public speaking can motivate the hearers to take actions desired by the speaker. Public speaking is an art and a good skill to have, or to develop. It can be the deal breaker that seals the fate of issues of importance, for better, in personal lives, careers, businesses and other experiences. That’s a big deal!

It is fair to say that the art of Public Speaking has existed since the beginning of time. Effective public speaking has proven over time that good verbal communication complimented by communication of other forms, works. When done correctly, public speaking can be as mentioned previously, the art of persuasion, a useful skill to own. The testament of this can be noted in great orators such as Julius Caesar, Shakespeare, Martin Luther King Jnr., Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Deepak Chopra, Michelle Obama and Tony Robbins to name a few.

So why do so many people shy away from public speaking?
Public speaking has a way of exposing insecurities in speakers, for example, a speaker may be an introvert who does not appreciate the focus, or attention of an audience on him/her. As such, the speaker may prefer other forms of communications such as writing letters, or video presentations. This insecurity may affect his/her confidence in delivering a speech that is informative, influential or even entertaining. In this case, developing the speaker’s public speaking skills will not be a cure for introversion, but an adaptation of that personality type to allow the speaker to flourish at public speaking.

Fear of public speaking may derive from other insecurities that are in some cases related, such as:
• Personality types mentioned previously
• Preferred communication styles
• Low self esteem
• Lack of confidence
• Unresolved issues from childhood and life experiences to name a few

Whatever the reasons are, all fear of public speaking can be overcome. With commitment, active effort, and the correct support, all persons wishing to speak clearly, confidently and influentially can become effective public speakers.

So how do you become an effective public speaker?
First thing’s first. Acknowledging that one needs to work on his/her public speaking skill is important. Seeking the help required is equally important and that is where a public speaker coach comes in.

During public speaker coaching, different aspects of a speech will be focussed on. These aspects that relates to the speech are:
• The speaker – how confident they are, his/her preferred communication style etc.,
• The speech – content, structure, delivery, intended audience
• The audience – who they are, best communication style to use
• Method of speech
• Environs and situations/circumstances
• Complimentary forms of communications – body language, visual aids
• Feedback – getting them and how to use the information gathered from them

Collectively with all of the above addressed in development patterns and learning styles that are conducive to the speakers, effective public speaking should result.

The key thing thereafter is to continue developing and maintaining ones public speaking skills. This can be done with discipline and commitment by developing habits that will promote effective public speaking.

Being an effective public speaker can only be an asset to an individual. It boosts self-confidence, influences the hearers in favour of the speaker; helps to develop a good reputation for speakers and their businesses/company and personal lives. It attracts success in whatever forms it comes. Forming healthy habits around effective public speaking is also relevant to being a good public speaker. What do you want to do about your public speaking skills today?

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