Does the thought of public speaking terrify you? Most people would rather die than talk in front of others. Are you one of those people?
Most jobs require communication skills. You will have to give a speech or brief at some point in your life. Does the thought of it make you nervous? Maybe you have already given speeches, and you were so nervous that you threw up. You may never want to do it again, but you'll have to.
I'm a member of Toastmasters International, a public speaking organization dedicated to improving the speech and leadership skills of its members.Every year, Toastmasters has an International Speech Competition. I competed in 2009 and won three local contests, but I fell short of the final rounds.
I mention the competition because my preparation is what helped me to do so well. My preparation gave me confidence.
Preparation is a key factor in becoming a good public speaker because preparation leads to confidence.
In preparing for the International Speech Competition, I wrote out my speech on the computer and continually revised it. I chose carefully every single word in my speech to make the sentences smooth, understandable, and pleasing to the ear.
Listening to good speakers and observing how they organize their thoughts can help you organize your own thoughts. Reading quality books, magazines, and newspapers can also give you a model for writing your speeches.
For those of you who hated English class and hate public speaking, don't give up. All of you who enjoy math, take heart. We're not going to do math right now, but I am going to provide you with a formula:
1) Introduction: Tell the audience what you're going to tell them.
2) Body: Tell them.
3) Conclusion: Tell them what you told them.
This is a classic organizational strategy, like the traditional five paragraph essay from English class. Typically, your speech (or essay) has a theme, and you support or explain the theme in three main points.
Talk about the theme and the three points in the introduction, flesh out the three points in the body, and recap the three points and how they support the theme in the conclusion.