Being able to get infront of a crowd and speak what is in your mind itself is a challenge many folks can’t handle. Many people fear public speaking more than parachuting. I don’t really know if that’s true, but I do know that developing a voice is a challenge. Being comfortable with the sound of your voice infront of multitudes is one step towards being a good communicator.
The next logical step is to be able to convey an idea or a set of ideas properly and in a manner that the audience listens and retains most if not all of the main points. How many points did you retain from your last staff meeting, class, or campaign rally? Why are those specific ideas still resounding in your head? Which speech led you to retain the most?
A speech or oral presentation may be designed to inform, demonstrate, persuade, motivate, or even entertain.
(Free Online Chapter on Planning and Preparing your Speech)
When you have a purpose, you can design your speech to impact the audience in the way you need them to act. The structure of your speech will be important. How you draw your crowd to listen in the beginning will shape how they will pay attention to you throghout the delivery of your message.
An outline is a framework that helps the speaker to organize ideas and tie them to the main structural elements of the speech.
(Free Online Chapter on Organizing and Outlines your Speech)
So now that you know what you are talking about and how you want to say it, you need to practice, practice, and practice. Public speaking is an art and a science, and it requires dilligent effort to be cultivate the artful elements of style as well as the scientifically precise skills of delivery.
If you haven’t clicked on the links next to the quotes above, I recommend you do. The quotes are from a textbook which is available for free from Flat World Knowledge. Seven out of the fifteen total chapters are available online. Our Toastmasters Chapter, Talk for Change meets twice a month and it is an excellent place to pratice, improve, and cultivate your public speaking style. If you aren’t reading this on our website, check out the Contact Us page.