Speaking is a Game. Take a Swing.
Public speaking, like any other performance-based activity, is going to take time and effort to be good. You can definitely become the confident, effective speaker you want to be if you do the work and take the right approach. It’s definitely within your grasp. You can absolutely learn to win at public speaking and I think you’ll have a great time doing it!
My first golf lesson.
I remember, years ago, I wanted to learn to play golf. I hired a golf instructor for the day and we met at a local course. He first explained the game and then introduced me to the various clubs explaining what each club was for and how to use the proper grip. Next, it was time to learn what the rest of my body should be doing while I took a swing. I was told what to do with my arms, elbows, legs, knees, hips shoulders, neck, head, and so on.
Then, it was off to the first hole where I was supposed to put it all together. He told me about the various golf shots such as the drive, approach, lay-ups, chips, putts, etc. We finally made it through the front nine and the instructor said he thought I was going to be great at the game (by the way, I’m still waiting for that to happen). He also presented me with a bill for the lesson plus the golf club rental, green fees, cart rental and lunch. Then, he left. It had been a fun, exciting day and I learned a lot but was I ready to go out and shoot par at a local course? Hardly. By the way, I never became a good golfer because I only played about twice a year and never practiced.
Any average person can grab some clubs and balls and eventually complete 18 holes. To be a good golfer, however, you have to practice, practice, practice. You have to spend time on the putting green, the driving range and hire a coach to monitor your progress and give you feedback.
Learning to be a good public speaker is a lot like learning to play golf or tennis or any other sport. It takes good instruction, coaching, practice and time playing the game.
That said, I’m always surprised to see how many companies will spend thousands of dollars to bring in speech trainers to teach their employees speaking and presentation skills and expect everyone to be Tony Robbins after a few days in the conference room. The speech trainers are usually great speakers, have excellent information and put on a real fun-filled seminar but after taking the course are you ready to shoot par at your next presentation? Hardly.
Just as any average person can hit a golf ball around a course, any average person can get up in front of a group and speak. We see it all the time, unfortunately. To be a good speaker, you have to study the art of public speaking, learn technique, practice, get feedback from a coach or fellow speakers and get as much stage time as possible. How do you do that? You can start by going to my website, www.sportofspeech.com and checking out the resources page.
A website for people who want to win at public speaking.
www.sportofspeech.com is for people who want to make public speaking exciting, challenging and fun. You’ll find my blog posts, speaking tips, exercises, interviews, links to books, websites, videos and much more. You’ll be able to use all of this information to improve your performance. The Sport of Speech is dedicated to inspiring you, motivating you and giving you the confidence and skills you need to become a speaker that can “rock the room”.
Steve Evans, Speech Enthusiast