What scares you?
In fact, what scares you the most?
How about death?
Does that worry you?
Then, of course, there’s pain.
No one loves pain.
But in a well-known survey…
…one fear topped them all.
The fear of public speaking.
That came fourth…!
Now this is a blog post.
Or is it…?
It’s a speech.
This… is how you write one.
Easy to say out loud.
So why not try it?
Well, don’t be.
Or if you are, go somewhere private.
See those words in italics?
Give them a little more emphasis.
See the dots?
Go back to the beginning.
And start reading…
OK? Feeling a little braver?
Then try again.
But this time – record it.
On your phone is fine.
Now play it back.
How was it?
Did your voice sound odd?
If you’ve never done this before – well, it might.
But don’t worry.
Everyone thinks that the first time they hear it.
Just focus on this.
You’ve made – and recorded – a speech.
So well done!
And now for something completely different…
Even if you didn’t read it aloud, that piece was written as a speech.
So what did you notice about it?
Did you see how short the sentences were? How emphasis and pauses were marked? How readable it was? (I have to tell you, it scores close to 100% in a Flesch readability test.)
Though I’ll admit, I made it as easy as I possibly could.
Now I’ve heard a lot of public speaking. Sat through any number of networking meetings. And listened to any number of 60-second pitches. Including a good many that were written out beforehand. And very few of them were that easy to read.
Which means the speaker often stumbled. Hesitated. Struggled with a word. Or just plain stopped.
So how can you prevent that?
Simple, really. When you’ve written something to read aloud, do exactly that. Read it aloud. If you can, record what you’re reading – and listen to the recording. Check that you’re OK with it. And if you’re not, change it until you are.
You’ll soon find the style that works for you. And, more importantly, the one that works for your audience!
Watch out for more tips and ideas about your public speaking. We’re here to help.