David Wray

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Public Speaking – A Common Fear Easily Overcome

Credit: Dilbert by Scott Adams

Background

Public speaking, also known as glossophobia, is the most common social phobia. The real challenge is that speaking in public settings is a part of everyday life for many. From weddings, retirements, and business meetings to full on conference speaking. So how do some people make it look effortless and, is it is skill that anyone can learn? 

A few years ago, I interviewed public speaking experts to get to the heart of what creates masterful speakers. These insights ignited a passion and journey to share the secrets of perfecting any skill with others. I am doing so in my book, available soon, thanks to the GreenLeaf Book Group

So, what are the behaviours, skills, beliefs and sense of identity that set the two groups apart?

Similarities and Differences

Let’s start by identifying some common behaviours. Shared views on the importance of feedback, authenticity, and a passion to teach or share ideas. So, where are the differences? Behavioural differences lie in the use of pitch and tone, storytelling, thought provoking content and audience engagement.

If we step further and look at the beliefs and sense of identity, the emerging differences are quite interesting. 

Master speakers often describe themselves as an instrument rather than an all-knowing expert; ego is absent from the event. The speaking engagement becomes an opportunity to generate ideas, discussion or prompt change. Crisp opening and closing lines effortlessly manage the first couple of minutes of stage nerves. 

Seemingly small things make the difference, living and breathing them is where the skill lies.

A glimpse into some similarities and differences follows:

This offers a taster of becoming a masterful public speaker. With the right toolbox of skills, it is absolutely an achievable outcome.  If you adopt just one or two of the differences, how might your public speaking experiences improve?

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Give it a try!

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