How To Become A Public Speaker (Part 2)

As I explained in my first article there are no magic instant formulas for success. You need to plan what you want your audience to learn and what they will take away from your speech.

Planning.

When planning my speech, I talk through with the client to ascertain exactly what they expect. If this is your gig the same requirement for information applies. I have listed a few things below to give an idea of what kind of information I need.

  • Audience – size, age, gender, profession
  • Where the presentation is taking place?
  • What kind of audio and visual technology is available?
  • Do I need to bring my own laptop? (Plus cables)
  • How long the client expects me to speak for.
  • Does the client wish me to turn up early?
  • Are there any specific messages the client needs from my presentation.

Before you start planning what you are going to say you need to find out plenty before hand.

Structure.

In very simple terms your speech needs a beginning, middle and an end. In my last article, I emphasised the need to start at the end, work out where you need your audience to be. One of my presentations with what I have discovered as a result of what happened to me. I only give them a brief outline of that discovery, I tell them that we will explore this finding at the end of the presentation. There are many different ways to deliver your speech, when researching for this article I came across this  Classic Story Telling Techniques which I found very helpful. You may feel that your presentation can’t follow a storytelling theme because it is heavy with data, this information could be given out at the end as a hard copy. Below is a list of presenting methods which will help you plan.

  • Problem-Solution
  • Residues Method
  • Classic Story Structure
  • Chronological Structure
  • Demonstration Structure

This helpful list was taken from this article  5 Ways To Structure A Presentation.

Fear.

  1. Public speaking – Glossophobia.
  2. Spiders – Arachnophobia.
  3. Confined Spaces – Claustrophobia.
  4. Heights – Acrophobia.
  5. Zombies.
  6. Thunder and lightning – Astraphobia.
  7. The Dentist – Dentophobia.
  8. Darkness – Nyctophobia.

The fear is real in fact 74% of Americans are scared of delivering a public speech. We are less scared of spiders than we are of talking in front of others. If anyone tells you that they are not a little bit scared of speaking in front of a crowd they are either lying or they do not care. A little bit of fear before talking is natural, there is one way to mitigate the fear. Practice, practice practice. We’ve talked about the before.

I delivered a speech to young men and women from Teenage Cancer Trust, before I stepped on stage I felt a complete fraud. In my mind I didn’t think that they would listen to a word I would say. Why would they? I was much older than them, I had joined the Armed Forces willingly, they were young and certainly hadn’t asked to get cancer.

Why did I think this?

Well some of these young men and women had really suffered at the hands of cancer. I felt that they would take one look at me and find nothing in common with my situation. I was pleased that I arrived early to this event, I learned that these young men and women where really just like me. They where funny and had a dark sense of humour. I have invited back many times to Teenage Cancer Trust, I must have done something right.