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How to Speak in Front of Others

Updated on October 29, 2017

Prepare

Did you know that public speaking is one of the biggest fears that people have? For some, the idea of speaking in front of others I stills more fear than death itself. No, I am not kidding. It's almost an irrational fear at that, considering that most audiences are not very attentive. However, as irrational as this fear may seem when you're looking in from the outside, it is all too real for the person who is enduring the process.

I've been told many times that "Preparation time is never wasted time," and I have found this to be true. The worst feeling is showing up to give a message when you haven't done anything to prepare for that message. This doesn't always include writing down the message. Sometimes it involves rehearsing the piece in your mind until it becomes sanctioned in your heart.

I was honored to be be able to deliver a message to the middle school students at my church. I believe this message turned out to be the best one yet. Each time I speak, I prepare to learn more about how I can more effectivly communicate my message to the audience.

While you are preparing a speech, imagine yourself delivering your message with boldness and confidence. But don't compare yourself to others when you do it. Others may have a loud, direct boldness while you may have a quiet sense of boldness. Either way, your confidence will shine through if you imagine it happening in your thoughts beforehand. Your thoughts as well as your words hold more power than what you're aware of.

Focus and Organize!

This rule is easier said than done for me But it is important none-the-less. While I am a very organized person, my brain tends to jump from one idea to the next quite rapidly. It is usually through the process of writing that I can filter through my thoughts painlessly.

Unfortanately, it may take many rough drafts and revisions to create a message with a clear and focused purpose. But if we change our attitude about the task at hand, it could change our entire experience concerning public speaking. For example, most people view public speaking as nothing more than a chore. But if we see our task as an opportunity to share a message and reveal the purpose behind it, we can serve as an inspiration to others. When you serve others with an assignment so little as speaking to an audience, the gates of opportunities will open for you'll see grand results stemming from humble beginnings.

Speak Slowly

This point was also difficult for me to execute, as I get overly passionate when I am speaking about a topic that I love. I am not trying to persuade you to retract excitement from your message. I'm just saying that you may need to tailor it to what works best for the audience that you are speaking to. I have been told that I tend to speak quickly, both in conversation and while I am delivering a message. It was a challenge to tell my brain to slow down so that the children could understand what I was saying. However, slowing down my speech also brought more clarity to my mind. It calmed my nerves and made me realize that there is nothing wrong with a few seconds of silence here and there. It also enabled me to think about my next point instead of taking that opportunity to ramble on about information that was only slightly relevant.

This is what I have found to be helpful for me. It might be helpful for you to speak more quickly. It's always a good idea to hear advice from someone you trust but who will also tell you the truth.

Pray

I can't leave this last bit of information out because this is the most important part of why my message was delivered successfully. As much as I prepare for each message that I give, I still feel unprepared to give a speech a few moments before I reach the stage. I know that I am able to trust that God knows what words to speak to the children, even if I don't. I always try to stay open to God wanting to take the message in a different direction. I believe He'll still keep me on topic. I can even rely on God to help me the choice of words that I use during the message. God promises in Luke 21:15, "For I will give you the right words and such wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to reply or refute you."

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    • Camille Harris profile image

      Camille Harris 

      3 months ago from SF Bay Area

      Thanks for these tips, Erica. Speaking in front of others is one of my biggest fears, too.

      I especially found these lines to be powerful: "This doesn't always include writing down the message. Sometimes it involves rehearsing the piece in your mind until it becomes sanctioned in your heart." One of the biggest mistakes I made in the past was trying to capture/write down exactly what I wanted to say; it's much better to prepare and be familiar with and/or passionate about a topic and speak from there.

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