How To Become An Excellent Public Speaker
By Dr. Yomi Garnett
“My own secret to effective public speaking is to consider it merely a way of sharing my thoughts, the public speech being, in real terms, only a modified form of conversation.”- Yomi Garnett
The Amazing Secret To Verbal Brilliance
Whether you are speaking publicly for the twentieth time, or whether you are doing it for the first time, for most people, it remains an exercise they approach with some trepidation and nervousness. Most people seem to think good speakers are in possession of some secret knowledge that makes them skillful in speaking. Nothing could be further from the truth. I speak, and I write for a living. This means that I’m constantly on the lecture circuit, all the year round, speaking to groups of people of very disparate backgrounds, and of every conceivable description and disposition.
Indeed, I do have a secret. It is, however, so simple as to border on the ridiculous. My secret is simply this: By a conscious act of my will, I regard each episode of public speaking as being no different from any other form of ordinary, day-to-day discourse. To put it in even simpler terms: I consider it merely a way of sharing my thoughts with other people.
Insist On Speaking Only Plain English
At any speaking engagement, anyone who is not truly communicating with his audience is merely engaging in ineffectual talk. Put in other words, the essence of the public speech is to communicate and not to impress. Make every effort to avoid the inflated word. The right word, which, more often than not, is the one with which your listeners are quite familiar, is most often a very simple word. For some inexplicable reason, most people have a tendency to throw in words that are either not in common usage, or even words that have only recently gained a certain popularity. I have just thrown in a perfect example with the uncommonly used word “inexplicable.” The word “unexplainable” would have sufficed, wouldn’t you agree? It would appear that people do this either to sound current and up-to-date, or simply to impress the audience. Unfortunately, some of these “big” words do nothing to improve our ability to communicate.
The human ego is also a factor in the tendency towards fancy language, with some speakers thinking that the bigger the words they use, the more important their subject matter and themselves appear. Try your utmost best to avoid pompous language. You will be better received and better understood if you avoid “trendy talk.”
Avoid “Empty” Words
These are also called ‘vacuous’ words, and they are words and noises that add nothing to what we are trying to say. They merely clutter up what we are trying to say, and this means they also clutter up what the audience is hearing. People use these words because they serve as ‘oral crutches,’ and can be handy when one is stalling. However, if we become dependent on them, falling back on (continue reading…)