The prospect of a public speaking engagement can be a real terror for many of us. Here are some words of wisdom from those who have been there and done it time and again and with style.
“People judge you by your performance, so focus on the outcome. Be a yardstick of quality.
Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” — Steve Jobs
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” — George Bernard Shaw
“What I do best is share my enthusiasm.” — Bill Gates
“Some people have a way with words and other people … uh … not have way.” — Steve Martin
“Is sloppiness in speech caused by ignorance or apathy? I don’t know and I don’t care.” — William Safire
“If people only knew how hard I work to gain my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all.” — Michelangelo
The paralysing fear of public speaking…
…or glossophobia as it is otherwise known ranks highly among the demons that we truly fear. It may be soothing to know that nearly all successful and impressive speakers have at one time or another also succumbed to that fear. It seems a natural human predisposition that evolves after a certain point in childhood – in other words it is learnt and adopted behaviour.
In order to counter this fear, time must be invested in effectively collating information, structuring content and crucially rehearsing the final delivery of any speech, pitch or presentation. It really is a piece of theatre so think of yourself as a showperson putting on a spectacle for an audience that really, desperately needs entertainment – not too hard to do when we think of how many dull, stolid business presentations we all sit through on a regular basis.
Sartaj Garewal is the founder of Dynamic Presenting – a creative, leadership development consultancy, adapting theatre training to create leadership programs for business.
Dynamic Presenting – Enabling Powerful CommunicationTags: Bill Gates, Executive Education, George Bernard Shaw, Michelangelo, Presentation Skills Training, Public Speaking, Steve Jobs, Steve Martin, William Safire