Life is full of paradoxes that some say require balancing; however accepting an appropriate location on the paradox continuum, when dealing with the paradox conundrum, may be as good as it gets! An example of such a paradox follows:

  • Speaking in Public is Easy
  • Public Speaking is Difficult

Speaking in Public is easy for everyone other than mutes. We start speaking at age two or so and we speak in public every day; either in our mother tongue, or in a second language. In contrast though, Public Speaking is always listed as one of people’s greatest concerns. This may be related to: Fear, Incompetence or some combination thereof.

Public speaking can take different forms: ad-hoc oral – when you meet your boss in the car park and he/she asks you how your projects are doing; formal oral – when you have to give an oral update at a staff meeting and you know this ahead of time; or when you have to deliver a formal power-point presentation.

There are a number of myths surrounding being a good Public Speaker, and I won’t even mention, “Kissing the Blarney Stone”:

  1. They are born with a gift of public speaking
  2. They do not have fears/get nervous
  3. They rely on data versus how data are presented
  4. They do not have to prepare/practice.

These are indeed myths, and the real key to effective Public Speaking is to understand that it is a skill which, like all skills, can be learned. An effective learning approach will go a long way to move you along this paradox continuum, such that speaking in public is easy whether you’re just chatting with family or friends, or whether you’re delivering a presentation to 5, 500, 5000 or 50,000 people.

  • Public Speaking is a Learned Skill – Join Toastmasters or Similar Organization

View Toastmaster International:

View Purchase Product Page for Professional Development material on this topic:Public Speaking Improvement Toolkit:!/Purchase


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