Every month, we are gathering some of the best keynote speakers and motivational speakers to teach you the skills you need to learn to speak in public.
I'm guessing, you are here because you have been asked to give a public speaking talk or presentation in the next few days or weeks! You are feeling anxious, fearful, or terrified at the idea! And...You are surfing around trying to solve these two problems. Yet , what your finding is an overwhelming amount of tips, lists, experts, courses, and so on. From my experience what people searching for public speaking information want is: A simple, straight forward, step by step process to create, practice, and deliver a good talk. A way to deal with the anxiety and fear.
However, we always love input and feedback from our students before the seminar to make sure that we cover everything which is why we will have some survey questions.
In my past I have taken numerous presentation skills training courses. Some by local experts, and others that included time with Toastmasters. I have also read numerous books, and had a personal interest in the whole arena of public speaking. People that do it well amaze me. I have also taught courses for over 10 year period.
Bottom line, I'm a presentation skills training junkie. I love to watch people speak, learn from them, and share this passion with others, mainly close friends till this website.
One thing that has always bothered me while teaching!
It has always nagged at me why students in both my own course, as well as others I've taken, not improve more. In all honesty, the far majority of students say they have improved their skills, and walk away fairly happy. But having watched them over the duration of a given course, I always felt they could have improved more.
After much observing and thinking, I truly believe the usual teaching method doesn't apply.
You see, in my opinion, learning public speaking skills is completely different than learning any other skill. A common approach to learn a skill is to break the skill down into its numerous parts or elements. Than to work on each element one by one, until the skill is learned in whole. It's a solid approach, but in my experience not effective when teaching public speaking.
As an example, in a lot of courses on public speaking, an instructor may spend equal time on teaching gestures, speech creation, eye contact, breathing, and dealing with the fear.
But to learn any skill before the fear is dealt with is completely useless. I have seen so many people start and finish a course with the same level of fear. Truly. Sure they are throwing in the odd new gesture, and maybe making eye contact a bit more. But I can tell you they are NOT connecting with their audience any better than day one. They are NOT much calmer inside either.
As an analogy, lets use ice hockey. To teach a person to pass or shoot a puck is useless until they have mastered skating. It's the same with public speaking. The tips and lists are all great advice, BUT not until you have become comfortable dealing with the fear. Make sense?
Solution - Focus on mastering the fear of public speaking first! Here are the bonus's of mastering the fear first:"If you master your fear, the rest of the skills are easy to embrace. They truly enhance your message delivery""You will engage your audience more, they can smell fear, but they can also smell confidence and confidence is engaging""You will be able to read your audience better as you speak, and adjust or check in with them more effectively"A New Approach
After a good deal of reflection and research I came up with the following approach. The goal of which is to lower the fear, and build confidence first and foremost:
A simple step by step 5 day mini course you do on your ownA strategy for working on the fear that has worked really well for me
My suggestion is sign up for the mini course led by myself and some of the great speakers from Keynote Speaker and Motivational Speaker. It's only 5 days, and meant to be simple. The power and growth are in the doing. It's free at this point. All I ask is for your constructive feedback.