How Do I Get Good at Speaking in Public?

So how do I get good at speaking in public?

Not by reading this blog for sure.

Wait a minute, then why am I writing it? Not to make you better at public speaking. That is something you’ll do on your own. I am writing this piece with two purposes in mind:

  1. To help you realize that you can get good at public speaking but not just by reading about it.
  2. To give you the necessary tips, tricks and ideas to get better at a faster pace.

To dive deep into the two purposes:

a. Public speaking or speaking on stage is as much a skill as walking, driving, swimming, typing, dancing, or any other skill in the world. It needs practice. We didn’t learn walking by reading about walking! Good that we were too young to read back then, else who knows what would have happened!

Take a step, fall, rise, fall again, rise again, bump the head at the wall, on the table, fall again, rise again, take the first step, the second one, fall again, rise again, take the third step, the fourth one and gradually, within six months of grinding through it, you’re already on the millionth step!

Non-surprisingly, public speaking is much the same. Stand on stage, get scared, get nervous, try to speak and nothing comes out, mumble, come back to the seat disappointed, go back on the stage, speak the first paragraph, the first speech, make mistake in speech preparation, another mistake in delivery, get back on stage, speak again and again and again. Within six months, you’re already on the sixth speech (assuming one speech a month) saying to yourself, “I’m gonna rock the seventh one!” And you will.

b. A bit of self bragging:

I am a Toastmaster for 3+ years now. Good part about being a Toastmaster is one gets to speak on stage. A lot! I have spoken on the stage hundreds of times, at various events, contests, and occasions. I have spoken on various types of speeches (inspirational, informative, humorous etc); different varieties of speeches (prepared, impromptu, instant preparation etc); various formats of speeches (speech, being a host at an event, evaluation of a speech etc). I also help people prepare their speeches for contests and events, for some I get paid too!

Why all this bragging? A validation that I have the necessary skills & experience to share with you should you wish to take it.

So how are we going to proceed?

This section of the blog is all about tips and tricks to keep in mind while practicing, to help one get better at the art of speaking on stage.

Let’s begin!

First let’s take a look at The Anatomy of a Speech.