My personal thoughts and assessments on public speaking was never a job for me until I read ‘My Mind Went Blank’, from Richard Wright’s Black Boy.
I thought public speaking was a inherent and indigenous quality imbibed in all of us from birth. I was wrong :0
But Will Durant taught me-
“Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.”
The part in this book that resonates with me is-
“But I was still shy and half paralyzed when in the presence of a crowd, and my first day at the new school made me the laughing stock of the classroom. i was sent to the blackboard to write my name and address; I knew my name and address, knew how to write it, knew how to spell it; but standing at the blackboard with the eyes of the many girls and boys looking at my back made me freeze inside and I was unable to write a single letter”
I thought that life is too short to care for any other person’s opinion about me. I have to start speaking. But it is easy said than done, Believe me!!!
So asked around everywhere on how to develop speaking skills. It was my mom that suggested me to start reading out loud all the articles and contents that I read everyday. It gave me some skills but that was not all.
I started participating in different debate competitions. The idea was that i knew i was going to fail miserably in the beginning but i was going to fail in front of a small group of participants.But this effort was not helping me to a great level, albeit i learnt some new techniques of communicating skills from other participants, especially from the competition winners :)
When Martin Luther King Junior addressed his audience. he never fumbled.
English is neither my native language, nor my mother-tongue. So I did one thing that strangely my English teacher suggested in my school. Watch English movies(the genre you like) without subtitles.This helped me a lot. I also followed work of Martin Luther King Jr. for speaking skills.
After all a good speaker is a good listener.
Once I got these things done, i Started speaking on whatever i learnt in a particular day in front of a mirror. This helped me think that i am speaking to a person. give two-three minutes and you are good to go after a fortnight.
Read as much as you can. Online or offline content- it does not matter, but it should be quality content based your choice. No reading has ever gone into waste.
Last but not the Least- Remember the triangle rule in the audience. Form an imaginary triangle in the audience and keep looking and moving your eyes in the edges of the triangle.This will alleviate your concentration while speaking.
Whatever happens with your content do not break the flow . The audience does not know your part of the message. So improvise if necessary.
Be confident and have faith in yourself.
Good Luck and Be safe:)