Category: Getting Started
Finished? You probably came up with things like these:
I need to give presentations for work or school.
I need to make it through an upcoming event where I need to speak
I got a promotion at work and need to start running meetings.
I joined a group and now need to speak to many people at once.
I want to get over a fear of public speaking.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of situations in which people find themselves where public speaking comes into play. For the vast majority of us, the first list of goals for public speaking was probably like this list above. These are normal, perfectly acceptable reasons for getting better at public speaking. We’ve come up with some insights that will give you the ability to accomplish more than you may have thought possible.
Now, let’s take this from a different angle: did you ever stop and think what your life would be like if you were a very good public speaker all the time?
Did you ever consider what your life would be like if you had more confidence in what you were saying in general, every day?
We think these are the two areas wherein the best public speaking-related goals can be found. Dig deep. Dream big! Becoming capable at an activity from which most people shy away (or run away screaming) will open great new opportunities! Building more confidence in what you have to say in general will create major positive changes in your life as well. Unlock the potential you did not know you possess!
Finding your voice
Before we delve into the many opportunities that can come your way as a result of being a good public speaker, we want to address the deeper, more personal aspects of confidence in your own communication—confidence in what you have to say. We believe this concept has more impact on our overall ability to communicate than background, education, employment history…we think this is BIG.
While building Pspeak, we came upon something monumental. We set out to make great public speakers out of everyone, but we realized it was deeper than just getting up to give a speech or make a presentation.
The challenge for many of us is not just how to get up in front of a group. The challenge is also how to build up our own confidence in what we have to say every day.
Why? What happened to just giving a wedding toast or a class presentation?
Because truly finding your voice can change a lot of things for the better.
Every one of us lives with limitations imposed by the way we communicate. Speaking or not speaking a language is the most obvious example, but other elements are more subtle. Some limitations are based on what we feel confident in saying, and those limitations often affect the choices we make and the situations in which we end up. When we feel more confident overall, we achieve more success.
If we have a strong positive image of who we are, know what we expect of ourselves, know what we stand for – often expressed in our ideas and words – and we have effective communication skills that help us translate our ideas into words, then the odds are good that we’ll be successful.
Finding evidence of this is easy. There are visible examples of people all over our televisions and computers who appear to have great confidence in themselves, and that appears to have a big impact on their success. They’re called celebrities.
Name almost any celebrity – we said “almost”, not all – and you’ll have an example of someone who seems to be very confident in him or herself, believes in what he or she has to say, and often seems to have a fantastic life of money, fame, and opportunity. Of course, some celebrities shouldn’t be celebrities in the first place--some end up in treatment centers or blow all their money--but the majority fit this success formula.
To a less visible degree, most of us also know people who may not be famous but still have success in life, and a corresponding amount of confidence in who they are and what they have to say. These are usually strong individuals who believe in themselves, know what they expect of themselves, and what they’re capable of.
We’ll repeat that because it’s a big concept related to public speaking: Successful people often have a strong formula of who they are, what they expect of themselves, and what they’re capable of.
At Pspeak, we believe there’s something to be learned from this dynamic that’s extremely important when it comes to public speaking:
Our current communication skills affect our belief system about what we can and can’t do, and this affects our lives. If we develop confidence in our “voice”, in part by improving our communication skills, it can change our lives overall for the better.
Our goal through this process is to help you not only learn to present or speak in public, but to assist you in developing a set of skills to communicate in any type of group, and to experience improvement in your life in ways about which you may not ever have thought possible, all based on having more belief in your voice and what you have to say.
Specific opportunities related to public speaking
Now that we’ve introduced the concept of finding your voice, let’s discuss more specific public speaking related opportunities.
As you’ve probably heard, statistics show most people are afraid of and think they hate public speaking, which is ironic, given that most of us love attention.
There’s a big secret that we’ll share with you right now: Becoming great at public speaking means opportunity.
There is and always will be a demand for public speakers or presenters. People who are willing to speak in front of others often have access to more opportunities than people who are uncomfortable with an audience, large or small. We all know that finding a job isn’t easy; having great public speaking skills will drastically improve your odds beginning with the interview and taking you through the rest of your career.
Consider the most highly paid and/or most successful people you know or have heard of, and whether they’re comfortable in front of a group. Rock stars? Check. CEO’s? Sure. Politicians? Of course. Successful attorneys? Yes. Business owners? Most. Movie stars? Obviously. News reporters? Daily.
They’re all in front of a crowd at times. On a more day-to-day scale, think about the people within organizations that tend to get the better jobs. Whether it be managers, department heads, some sales jobs, directors, VP’s, CFO’s, CFP’s, – you name it, they all have to present in public, and because they can – or at least make the effort to get through it – they get to keep those positions. If they refused to be in front of an audience, they’d lose those positions.
This rule applies again and again in business, in education, in government, in sports, you name it. But the funny thing is that most people don’t consciously make public speaking a skill through research or practice, nor is it taught deliberately or well in most conventional educations! Many schools do a decent job of teaching public speaking and presentation skills, but many educators do more harm than good when it comes to their students’ self-confidence.
What we propose is simple: Invest the time and become a very capable public speaker. Then use those skills whenever and wherever you can in your life. We are SURE that you will experience positive gains from your efforts. Now we need you to be sure, too, so let’s keep moving!
Look for opportunities that will open up with your new skills. Be the person who raises a hand at the next meeting and asks a question, or contributes something, or volunteers to lead the next client presentation. Be the student who asks to present to the class to get more experience, exposure, and maybe a better “grade”. Be the person that leads the group. Share your ideas, share your voice and achieve your goals.
Please don’t misunderstand us, getting through one speech or presentation is a worthy goal, and we’ll help you with that if that’s all you ultimately decide to do. But we are very excited about what’s possible in your career and your life with more confidence and improved public speaking skills. Increased income or position, better personal or business relationships, living life a little more comfortably, with less anxiety and more fun...The possibilities are endless, and they are ALL GOOD.