It is interesting to note that when some individuals were asked to choose between making a speech or dying. Surprise! Surprise! The majority of them preferred to die than stand up and make a spectacle of themselves.
People fear putting their thoughts together and addressing an audience. However it is a requirement that you will need as you progress in your career. You will be required to make presentations to internal as well as external customers and you will be presented with occasions where you will have to make sales pitches on your products and services.
At social gathering you may be called upon to propose a toast or to make an extemporaneous speech. To make it more personal, you may have to make a marriage proposal, a successful one that will not have you being teased for the rest of the marriage about how you fumbled when you proposed.
Public speaking is skill that can be learnt. You can learn how to grab your audience’s attention and have them riveted to your flow of words. You can in the first few lines let your audience know clearly what you are going to talking about. Sometimes people have the floor and you wonder what they want to say and why you should give them your attention. The audience expects the speaker to first be knowledgeable and secondly to deliver in an interesting manner.
It is a delight to listen to a good speaker. Their tone of voice, their choice of words and their posture all have a powerful impact on what they are saying. For an example if they want to share something private and personal they may draw closer to you the audience as they lower their voice and at that moment you may feel that you are their sole audience.
There have been instances where individuals in top management positions are presenting to an audience and they keep on putting their hand in their pocket and taking it out. This distracting behavior can irritate the audience. Some others say they are concluding and then say as I conclude and go on for a while before finally concluding. In other instances the speaker does not lift up their head to make eye contact with the audience. These behaviours could be because they are nervous which not a bad thing.
You can learn how to control your nervousness and even harness it to your advantage. What is the worst thing that could happen to you as you deliver your speech. Whatever it is, your reaction will guide the audience as to how they should react. A lady Justice once shared an experience of a calamity in her court. As she was reading her judgment, she said she could feel her pony tail( for the men, it is the attachment women fix to their hair) slowly sliding from its high position on her head and without missing beat she calmly slid it back into position as she continued with her judgment. Supposing she had overreacted and exclaimed about what was happening to her. What would have been reported, Lady Justice undresses in court! Lady Justice …..!
Your presentation skill or public speaking skill becomes more and more important as you progress higher up the corporate ladder. It is a fact that those who make meaningful contributions at meetings and other gatherings are often those who are promoted. Sadly a lot of us leave this skill to chance. We do not decisively leverage our progression by taking the opportunity to deliberately learn this skill and improve on what we are saying.
You can make sure that when you stand up to speak you stand out with your exceptional public speaking skills. The ball is in your court or rather the microphone is in your hand.