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45. Public Speaking Basics: 3 Steps to Above Average Public Speaking: 6. Basic questions to ponder:

Last week I tried to address some of the basic challenges we may face when trying to speak in public.

The post ended by considering the following questions:

A. Currently, what are the occasions you find yourself speaking in public? (List them down)

B. Are the occassions often enough? Should we find more opportunities? If yes, how? If no, why not?

Based on the past few posts, I have mentioned several times on the need to practice.

Practising, I believe, is a practice (pun intended) that can make us better over time. While it is essential to be practising the right thing in order to improve, practice also gives us a familiarity with the action of presentation and the materials covered. This familiarity, in turn, gives us additional confidence in ourselves and in the message we want to share.

Therefore, a simplistic answer to the question: "When and Where do we speak?" will be "anywhere you can, every chance you get!"

Let's do a Case Study to highlight this point.

Meet Adam. Adam works in a multinational organisation. He has been there for only about a year. He came from a previous organisation as a specialist contributor, but now he has been put in charge of a specialist team. He currently manages a small unit of 15 staff and reports to the Deputy CEO of his firm.

Adam feels that getting comfortable with public speaking in his line of work is important. Why?

These are some situations when having some skills in public speaking can come in handy:

  1. When conducting meetings with his team members;

  2. When giving presentations on his team performance to his boss, the Deputy CEO and other Senior Management team members;

  3. When giving feedback to his team members during the informal quarterly appraisal sessions and the formal half yearly sessions;

  4. When engaging in debates and discussions with other department heads during resource allocation meetings;

  5. When having to represent Senior Management in briefing sessions and interview sessions regarding the work that his team performs for the organisation.

Adam knows that to get better, he will need to practice every chance he gets. He feels fortunate that when he looks carefully, there are plenty of opprtunities available for him to engage in public speaking at his workplace. So he sees every work opportunity as an additional space for him to get better.

As he begins to feel more comfortable, he realises that colleagues are actually offering him more opportunities. His department colleague, whom was about to get married asked if he can emcee for his wedding, which Adam immediately accepted. In Adam's mind, "I am already going to be there as a guest, might as well use this golden opportunity to try out being Master of Ceremonies for a change!"

A few months later, the head of another department, whom witnessed Adam's performance as an emcee, approached him with a proposal, "Hey Adam. You are quite good and natural as an emcee that day. My local Rotary Club is planning to organise a talk for the neighborhood youth on emceeing. Would you be free next Saturday to help out? If you can give these youth some tips, that would be great!"

The invitations and opportunities popped out here and there. Adam realised that it is an exciting turn of events, and grabbed every opportunity to get better.

When and where do we speak?

Anywhere and every chance we get!

Next week, we will look at some basic skills that we can master that can help us get better, not so much better, but ABOVE AVERAGE!

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