Putting in the reps
As any of you who has ever worked with me knows, I consider a public speaking a skillset.
I think this is great news! One, there is no reason why you should automatically know how to do it all. And two, there is always a way to break things down and start working on the most important elements.
It can be amazing to works towards a big talk or presentation. But when I work with speakers, I encourage them to broaden their definition of ‘public speaking’ so that they can seek out and get a useful amount of practise, more frequently, in an intentional way.
I recommend asking yourself the following questions for starters:
- How can I get more practise as a speaker? (This week? This month?)
- What skills will this opportunity allow me to practise?
These are examples from clients:
- Giving a short talk at their child’s school. (A chance to practise their breathing and voice support exercises. And also, for using a single prompt card instead of fully written notes.)
- Introducing another speaker, and fielding questions at a local networking event. (A chance to try out different strategies for dealing with nerves, and also to get more comfortable with eye contact and where to look when stood in front of a big group.)
- Being a guest on a podcast within their industry. (Trying out a method for preparing, but not over-preparing. Practising a conversational tone, but also being mindful of concision e.g., not trailing off and repeating self.)
There are so many other opportunities and examples, whether in online meeting and events, in person, or on video.
It all counts! Decide ahead what you want to practise for yourself, while also knowing that ultimately we are there to share and connect with our audience.