If the mere thought of standing in the front of a room and talking to a group of people has your heart pounding and palms sweaty, rest assured, you are not alone. Public speaking is the second most common personal fear. According to a Chapman University survey, over a quarter of people are afraid of speaking to a group. Being the center of attention and knowing that all eyes are on you is a truly terrifying prospect for many people.
But public speaking is a powerful tool. From giving pep talks as a manager to addressing industry leaders at a major convention, your ability to effectively communicate a story is a real game changer for your business.
Some people are so good at motivational speaking they’ve made very lucrative careers out of it. Take Tony Robbins as an example. He’s quite possibly the most successful motivational speaker in history. Without any formal education beyond life experience, Tony became a self-help coach. His ability to communicate and connect with his audience helped change Tony’s own life and career. He even incorporated out-of-the-box techniques like fire walking to relay his messages and motivate listeners to push past their fears.
Everyone has a story that other people want to hear. It just takes finding the right audience, knowing how to craft your message and practicing the delivery.
5 Steps to Becoming a Better Speaker
You don’t have to walk across fire to become a captivating speaker, although for some people public speaking can feel just as uncomfortable. Forget all the rules you’ve learned or were told are needed to be an effective speaker. All those will do is add an unnecessary layer of pressure to perform in a certain way.
Instead, take a page out of Tony Robbins’ book. Focus on finding your unique delivery and message that creates an experience. Listeners won’t remember every word you said, but they should walk away with a certain feeling or idea that was encapsulated in your speech.
The steps below will help you take it ONE Thing at a time so you feel confident speaking to a crowd.
Step 1. Decide on a Core Message
What is it you want others to walk away with? What pearl of wisdom do you want to impart? What feeling do you want to incite? Like any other project, you need to know where you want to end up in order to figure out the best way to get there. Boil the essence of your talk down to a single one-liner that can provide direction.
Step 2. Find a Story to Tell
Our lives are made up of stories. They are collections of experiences that create a better understanding about ourselves and the world we live in. At the heart of every good speech is a relevant story. Consider who your audience is and what type of motivation you can give them. Use that to find a story that will connect in a meaningful way and exemplify your core message.
Step 3. Incorporate Your Sense of Humor
Using humor is a quick way to win over any audience and helps to break the ice. But there’s nothing less funny than a forced joke. We all have a unique sense of humor that’s authentic to us and ties into our behavioral style. Some people get laughs by poking fun at themselves while others can nail physical comedy. Take time to delve into your sense of humor and how it can be interwoven throughout the speech to enhance the message.
Step 4. Record Yourself
There’s no better way to identify your distracting ticks and work through the delivery kinks than to put yourself in the position of your audience. As painful as it may be, recording your speech and reviewing your performance is very helpful. Just like athletes review game footage, professional speakers use videos of past performances to perfect their craft.
Step 5. Know How You Want to End
The opening of any speech is the most important part because you need to hook the audience. However, the ending is almost as influential. You’ll want to reinforce the core message and end on a strong note that wraps everything up. Give it some energy and enthusiasm so people walk away motivated.
Do you have a favorite motivational speaker or tips of your own to share? Help others gain more confidence by posting your insights on our Facebook page or in the comments section.