Speaking Tips: Confident Public Speaking - Storytelling

To become one of the world's best speakers is a possibility

One thing about public speaking, the older you get, the more credibility you seem to have
One thing about public speaking, the older you get, the more credibility you seem to have

Storytelling could make you one of the worlds best speakers

Want to be one of the worlds best speakers ? Want to speak really well? Want to be able to hold an audience seemingly in the palm of your hand, as they wait on your every word? To become one of the world's best speakers is a possibility . If you habitually use good storytelling in your presentations, it could become a probablity .

Public speaking and Storytelling - especially interactive storytelling - are interweaving strands of the same splice. Almost inseparable, each gives the other strength. Indeed, the raconteur who cannot speak up confidently in public is severely handicapped. Likewise hindered is the orator who cannot effectively weave story into a formal speech.

Riveting, moving, inspirational delivery comes from the heart

Many of us try to speak really well. Some few of us even envision ourselves as being the world's best speaker. Few of us succeed. I emphasize here that I am talking about excellence: riveting, moving, inspirational delivery, not simply about one having the confidence of being able to get up and say a few articulate words. Though the latter is no mean achievement. Public speaking and storytelling is never a mean achievement. It takes courage.

We are all aware of how we felt when called upon to give our first formal presentation. Panic might have been an understatement. Probably we were terrified. And years later even though we believe we can speak really well, still have a few moments of trepidation before we 'go on.'

Be that as it may, most people who do take up the challenge to speak in public fail to achieve excellence not because of nervousness, but because they give up too soon. They do not persist. They do not press on. They do not apply themselves and give of their best each time year after year. As in so many other things, these tiro speakers are after a 'Quick Fix.' With public speaking there is no quick fix.

Confident public speaking comes with experience.

Remember - in most instances the audience wants you to succeed.
Remember - in most instances the audience wants you to succeed.

Speaking Tips: The world's best speakers know that speaking is both an Art and a Craft

Speaking is not only an art, it is a craft. It is a craft that has to be learned by diligent application. To speak really well, the longer we practice the better we become. Yet in the improvement, we do not become steadily better. Improvement is often erratic. We go up a step or two, or even three, quite rapidly- and remain at that level. Then we go up another step. Here we might experience a plateau which lasts for years. Then we go up again. Listen to a good speaker who has five years experience. Then listen to him or her when they've been speaking for ten years. Then twenty. Then thirty. If you want inspirational delivery, deliver of your best every time.

Tusitala Tom in action.

Remember: Words are but the tools.  Let them flow naturally.  The message, when it comes from the heart, will be provided with the right words.
Remember: Words are but the tools. Let them flow naturally. The message, when it comes from the heart, will be provided with the right words.

In Confident Public Speaking, success comes by utilizing your visualization, hence the story. Even better, audience participation with interactive storytelling

The art of speaking is its creativity. Such comes from the public speaker's mind. The craft lies in its delivery- preferably inspirational delivery. Delivery comes from the action of the speaker, the technique. Delivery is, I believe, partially inherent but mostly learned. It comes from the speaker's mental and physical energy. It involves emotion : enthusiasm, zest, compassion, things which spring from the soul. These result in the actual application: the voice and body, the tone, pitch, pace, pause, natural gesture- this type of thing. The ideas might be common to us all- the delivery is always unique. In public speaking and storytelling it is part of us.

World's Best Speaker

The Ancient Greek, Demosthenes of Athens, still reputed to be the best orator who ever lived, was asked, according to his biographer, Plutarch, "What are the three most important parts of public speaking." The world's best speaker replied, "Action is the first." When asked what is the second, Demosthenes replied, "Action," "And the third?" -"Action."

By action, the world's best speaker was referring to his delivery. In other words, the success of a speech, or a story orally told, is determined by how it is conveyed. A speech or story badly told, no matter how interesting the content, fails. Whereas quite a mediocre message or simple story can have a profound effect on a listener if told with the right sort of delivery.

Yours truly addressing an audience in the Jockey Auditorium of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Importance of Delivery - Knowledge is not enough

Few people doubt, when they go along and hear an academic give a talk on his or her specialist discipline, about that person's expertise, their knowledge of the subject. Indeed, the audience are particularly aware that the speaker is an expert; knows his or her subject backwards. Yet often audiences are bored silly by the discourse they are subjected to from such experts.

Why?

Not because the speakers aren't interesting people with interesting subjects. But because these 'specialists' have generally failed to put much store in the importance of delivery. If you, dear reader, bear in mind that, in oral presentation, delivery is at least equal to content, then you'll be on the right track to understanding how to speak really well. Go for inspirational delivery!

Part of the audience enjoying one my stories

Public Speaking Tips: The world's best speakers inevitably speak to entertain as well as deliver their message.

Many of us try to be that sort of speaker. Some few even envision themselves as being the world's best speaker. Few of us succeed. I emphasize here that I am talking about excellence: riveting, moving, inspirational delivery, not simply about one having the confidence of being able to get up and say a few articulate words. Though the latter is no mean achievement. Public speaking and storytelling is never a mean achievement. It takes courage.

We are all aware of how we felt when called upon to give our first formal presentation. Panic might have been an understatement. Probably we were terrified. And years later even the most experienced of us have a few moments of trepidation before we 'go on.'

Be that as it may, most people who do take up the challenge to speak in public fail to speak really well not because of nervousness, but because they give up too soon. They do not persist. So if you want to speak really well, indeed, if you really do aspire to be the world's best speaker, keep at it. Practice makes perfect, and you'll be working steadily towards that perfection all of your life. That is, of course, if you want to speak really well.

I hope you enjoyed reading Confident Public Speaking with its enphasis on interactive storytelling.

Keep smiling

Tom.

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