Contributed by: Quang Nguyen – Lecturer at Hanoi University of Science and Technology
Recently I was invited by an old university friend who is the head of an education center, to take part as a speaker in her company annual meeting with the new students. After that event, she confessed that she was extremely surprised at my public speaking skill, because she used to find me as timid boy who very rarely shared words to others. In addition, I am also able to talk of any topics outside of my profession (for I am a university lecturer). My friend excitedly asked me what has happened and built up my personality. As I told her the secret was my self-training at home, her curiosity was rising high and she longed to know what it is exactly. Thus, I am writing this post to answer that question in more detail.
If you want to become a successful public speaker and for many reasons you cannot go to any speaking program outside or you want to save time and money; the good news is you probably have found the very right place. So here I present my self-training program at home which consists of 5 following tips:
5 Tips to become a successful public speaker by self-training at home
Tip #1: Learn from models on YouTube.
Spend time watching online videos of great speakers such as: some politicians (like Martin Luther King Jr, Barack Obama, etc), some entrepreneurs (like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, etc), some spiritual teachers (like Osho, Sadhguru), or some personal development coaches (like Tony Robin, Christian Mickelson), etc. Pay attention on anything that they shine out and copy them: their positive words, their ways of conducting the speech (they should ask a lot of questions for audience), their fashion style, their posture, their gesture, and their actions during their speech. Also pay attention on which kind of stage where the speech takes place. Studying the models helps you see your target so clearly and shortens your process very much. Thank YouTube for making it possible for you to do at home.
Tip #2: Visualization and meditation.
Visualization is the process in which you imagine yourself standing on a specific stage (which you really want to stand on) ,in front of hundreds of audiences and you doing your great speech. You imagine the scene vividly with all colors, sounds and the way you want the speech happens. You also imagine your performance is the performance of a professional speaker like one of your models.
Meditation helps you maintain control your calm state and enhance your focus ability so that in the real situation when you perform the real speech, you cannot be affected by any unexpected disturbance. Meditation helps you build up your confidence as well. Besides, it is scientifically reported that meditation with right breathing rhyme will build up the solidity in your voice which plays an important role in the success of your speech.
Tip #3: Prepare materials by SPEAK method.
Whether you have to make a speech of a familiar or unfamiliar topic, do the following process for preparing the material which I name as SPEAK.
S- Scan all the materials as possible, related to the topic, from your knowledge or on Internet. Nowadays, it is strongly supported by wonderful search engines such as: Google, yahoo, etc.
P-Project the materials found in the previous step onto a specific speech which includes: introduction, ideas’ implementation, and conclusion.
E- Estimate the volume of your speech, so you will filter which most important ideas should be emphasized in your speech.
A- Actions – Specify actions which you will act during the speech. You cannot appear as a statue while performing the speech. Use body language as properly as your models do.
K-Keywords. Keeping a list of keywords in mind helps you track the prepared materials very well during a long speech so that it always goes on interesting to the audience. They also remind you the highlights on which you will make the speech deeper and meaningful.
Tip #4: Shadow practice.
Shadow practice is a very powerful technique which is used a lot in competition sports when the sportsman practices alone without partners or competitors. The technique is useful in training for public speaking as well. More details, you stand in front of a large mirror and perform your prepared speech. In this case, you are the speaker and you are also the audience, so you can observe all your expressions (necessary or unnecessary) during the speech. Do it repeatedly and intensively. You will be surprised by the outcome. You can also use cameras or smart phones to record your performance, so you can review and analyze it as many times as possible, and thus you can give the best feedback for yourself.
Tip #5: Be patient and stop being dead serious.
No one after one night suddenly becomes successful. All great things need processes to be manifested and becoming a great public speaker is not exceptional. So be patient.
Besides, don’t worry so much about the outcome of your speech in the real situation. People might feel bored at your first speeches or people might even complain about them, it is very normal. The great speakers have been through the same thing. So don’t ever fear failures. Failures are necessary because they are wonderful lessons for your development. Stop being dead serious about the quality of your speeches. Keep on your practice and protect your confidence, then one day you consider yourself as a public speaker, you know by yourself you are successful.
About the Author: Quang Vu is the professional lecturer at Bach Khoa university of Vietnam. He studied 6 years in Russia at mechanical department and now spending most of his time teaching at school and cooperate with us in writing.
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