Speaking On Your Feet

Your ability to communicate effectively will account for most of your success in life. As we move farther into the communication age, we are becoming more and more dependant on being able to communicate and interact effectively with others. Your ability to interact with other people effectively will determine your success far more than your level of skills in any field.

There are three primary forms of communication in business, all of which are skills that can be learned. How well you develop these skills will determine how far and how fast you go in your chosen field.

The first communication skill is the ability to communicate either one-on-one or by telephone with people. Many people never develop this ability to interact effectively with others and their careers suffer because of it. The second skill, is the ability to communicate well in writing, to express yourself in letters, memos, reports, and e-mails. The third is the ability to speak in front of a group of people and give presentations.

Your ability to speak on your feet, to communicate, influence, and persuade other people to take action that they would not have otherwise taken, can do more to help you succeed than any other single skill that you can develop.

There are two major obstacles that hold people back from speaking in front of others. The first is fear. In surveys, people rank the fear of speaking ahead of handling snakes and even the fear of death. For most people, the mere thought that they might be called upon to speak in front of a group causes them tremendous anxiety. This is a conditioned response, usually the result of the person being criticized when they were young for speaking up in some situation. By the time they become an adult, this fear is so deeply entrenched in their subconscious mind that the very idea of speaking in front of an audience can trigger it and causes them to shut down mentally and physically.

Fortunately, every fear that has been learned can be unlearned. Since you came into this world without any fear of public speaking, you can learn how to revert back to that original condition where you once again have no fear of standing up and expressing your views to other people.

The second major obstacle to public speaking is that people simply do not know how to do it. There is a big difference between knowing how to talk and knowing how to speak. Talking comes naturally from growing up. But speaking is a learned skill that has to be practiced and takes a good deal of time and commitment to develop.

We all have two options in life, we can be influenced and persuaded by others, or we can influence and persuade others. In other words, we can be powerful or powerless. Your ability to speak well, to make your points, to get your views across, and to get other people to cooperate with you in achieving important goals, is vital to fulfilling your complete potential as a human being.

In every field, the fear of rejection is always a major stumbling block for most people. For many people fear is the greatest obstacle to success in their life. This fear holds people back from speaking up, from asking for the things they want, from negotiating better deals, from expressing their displeasure, and from speaking up when they do not agree with someone. The fear of rejection paralyzes action and it is closely tied to the fear of public speaking.

When you make the decision to overcome your fear of public speaking, you short-circuit your fear of rejection as well. The more confident you become speaking in front of others, the more competent and influential you will become in your one-on-one dealings with others.

To be a good public speaker you first must have a reason why you want to speak. Do you want to speak for personal pleasure or for professional benefit? If you want to speak for personal pleasure, you can learn to speak on any subject that interests you. However, if you want to speak professionally, you must become and expert on your subject and be clear as to why you want to speak and what you want to accomplish.

The purpose of all public speaking is action. It is to get people to do something that they would not have done without your talk. The more clear you are about what action you want people to take, or what change you want to take place in their thinking, the easier it will be for you to develop a powerful, persuasive presentation that achieves your goal.

You must prepare thoroughly. Preparation accounts for 90 percent of a good speech or presentation. It is important that you always over-learn your subject. You should prepare so thoroughly that you could easily talk for two or even three times longer on your subject if you had to.

Always remember that people would much rather be entertained than educated. Make your talk enjoyable to listen to, even if it is a serious subject. Make sure you support every fact with a story or quote.

There is no substitute for practice. You should always go over your material again and again. Before you give any speech or presentation you should read it out loud several times and recite it in front of mirror or into a tape recorder. You should even practice in front of your family and friends and have them critique your talk.

When you give your first few talks, you will not do as well as you want to. You will never do it as well as you could but you will always get better. Many of the greatest speakers in history were absolutely dreadful when they first started out. But with practice and persistence they got better. And so will you if you persist.

Public speaking can do more to help you advance in your career than almost any other skill that you can develop. It will help you overcome the fear of rejection that holds many people back. It will build your self-confidence, and cause others to admire and respect you more. It will open doors of opportunity for you virtually everywhere, and enable you to have a greater influence with other people. When you become a thoroughly accomplished public speaker, your future success will become unlimited.

Copyright(c)2005 by Joe Love and JLM & Associates, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

Joe Love draws on his 25 years of experience helping both individuals and companies build their businesses, increase profits, and achieve total success. A former ad agency executive and marketing consultant, Joe's work in personal development focuses on helping his clients identify hidden marketable assets that create windfall opportunities and profits, as well as sound personal happiness and peace.

Reach Joe at: joe@jlmandassociates.com

Read more articles and newsletters at: http://www.jlmandassociates.com

In The News:


pen paper and inkwell


cat break through


Speech Training - Building Your Voice, Tips from a Professional

Having a clear and confident voice is an essential business... Read More

Public Speaking for Scaredy Cats

Business communications researchers have studied the phenomenon of stage fright... Read More

Speaker Partnership Offers Trade Show Value

Want to gain added exposure at a trade show? Consider... Read More

Presentation Skills Without PowerPoint

Can you identify what each of these actions or activities... Read More

A Simple Guide to Writing (and Giving) a Speech

Nearly as dreaded as snakes and spiders, public speaking ranks... Read More

Public Speaking Tips: The More You Know, The More It Will Flow - Tips For Knowing Your Audience

The more you know about your audience, the better your... Read More

Dont Judge an Audience by its Stare

Don't Prejudge A Situation: In the areas of emotions and... Read More

Lose Stagefright Over Your Lunch Hour

While teaching a two-day Speaking Confidence program to a group... Read More

Feedback

I believe that asking for and acting on objective feedback... Read More

Speak to Be Heard and Understood

Use your voice to your advantage. One of your main... Read More

How to Become a More Persuasive Speaker: A Systems Approach

There is no surer way to get ahead in business... Read More

How to Use your Inner Circle

Who do you know that knows that you speak?There is... Read More

Speaking One-to-One

Speaking to an individual is different from the group experience.... Read More

How Well Do You Speak?

The ability to speak well can enhance your career, clinch... Read More

Fee Credibility is a Must

Think of it like this: your fee credibility is as... Read More

Getting Yourself Known

What are the 5 best ways of getting known in... Read More

Time Management

I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date. No... Read More

Public Speaking: Getting the Room Set-up Right

I don't know why it is, but no matter how... Read More

Public Speaking Tips

1. No speech is ever perfect. Perfectionism creates more fear.... Read More

Speak With a Relaxed Body and Mind

Fear of public speaking is No.1. Death is No.4. So... Read More

Pay Attention To Your Appearance!

During the coffee break of one conference I attended, whispers... Read More

15 Tips For Making A Great Speech

1. Listen to your internal dialog. 2. Visualize a positive... Read More

Lessons in Love for the Shy at Heart

One of the biggest regrets of my life is that... Read More

How To Write Powerful Presentations, Speeches And Talks

Most of us get nervous about making a speech, whether... Read More

What to Do When an Audience Member Disagrees With You

Some people enjoy drawing attention to themselves by trying to... Read More

How to Get Started In Public Speaking

Public speaking is among the five most feared activities human... Read More

Speakers Learn How to Define Your Niche

This is one of the hardest things speakers have to... Read More

How to Create a Compelling Media Kit

A well-built media kit is vital for effective marketing. Without... Read More

Ethics in Speaking: A Practical Point of View

Often managers have to deliver presentations with unpleasant content. The... Read More

Conversationally Speaking

"Would you like to say a few words?" How many... Read More

How to Give a Speech Without Dying

Two of the top fears of most people are dying... Read More

How to Present Your Proposal at an Executive Meeting

What's the worst reaction you've ever gotten when you made... Read More

Does Uptalk Make you Upchuck?

Uptalk is invading the work place and is reaching epidemic... Read More