Over the last 30 years or so, I have developed a reputation for being a ‘great’ public speaker. But it wasn’t always that way! I cringe when I watch some of my early talks.
Public speaking is a skill that can have a significant impact on your personal and professional life. It can help you share your ideas, inspire others, and make a positive difference in the world. There are a number of people whom I have taken inspiration from to hone my skills, and whether they were my direct or indirect teachers, I owe them all a debt of gratitude because that skill has led me to some unbelievable achievements in life.
Strong oratory skills can lead to you becoming a person of influence. Observing lots of speeches and debates, I am struck by the ability of great speakers to communicate their ideas with clarity, conviction, and passion. They are master storytellers who use humour, anecdotes, and real-life examples to make their points.
What inspires me the most about good speakers is their unwavering commitment to the truth. They never shy away from controversial topics or difficult questions. Instead, they tackle them head-on, using their vast speaking and debating skills to make compelling arguments. Their fearlessness and dedication to their message are qualities that I admire and aspire to emulate.
Becoming a public speaker is not easy, but with practice and dedication, developing the skills needed to become an effective communicator is possible. Watching thousands of speeches and debates has taught me the importance of simple things which many of us tend to overlook in pursuit of the ‘buzz’ of delivering a great speech: preparation, confidence, and authenticity.
Invest the time to prepare, even if it is a short speech or for a small audience. Know your subject so that you exude confidence. Be true to yourself and your values so your authenticity shines – and believe me that there is no brighter light!
The ability to communicate ideas with clarity, conviction, and passion, and unwavering commitment to the truth, are qualities that I hope I embody as I work to further develop my own speaking skills.