It has been said that one of the biggest fears people have is speaking in front of crowds. However, throughout your life as a leader, you will need to communicate or present information to groups of people. The most effective leaders and public speakers have a strong ability to captivate, enlighten, entertain, and motivate. Throughout history and today, the individuals that master these skills are able to reach the highest levels of success.
We can reach our own measures of success if we simply follow in their footsteps and learn to master public speaking. The first lesson is fairly straightforward, but holds most people back from ever improving their public speaking skills:
Everyone makes mistakes and stumbles over their words at some point.
Believe it or not everyone will slip up, or say the wrong thing, or in some other way make a mistake while speaking in front of groups. The secret is to not let it bother you and keep moving forward. We’re all human and it happens to the best of us. The worst thing you can do is dwell on a mistake because you just draw attention to it. It is very possible that no one else even noticed the blunder, but when you stop to acknowledge it, you ensure that EVERYONE sees it.
So, if something goes wrong, don’t apologize or say “excuse me;” just keep going like it never happened. More than likely you haven’t offended anyone and excessive apologies become distracting. Also, make sure you bring something to drink on stage with you just in case your mouth gets dry while you’re up there.
As we said before the best way to improve your abilities is to watch the masters at work. The links below will take you to speeches from some of the great public speakers. Enjoy!
Motivational Speaker Anthony Robbins[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5g8rjdsgRQ&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0&color1=0x234900&color2=0x4e9e00&border=1]
Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech of 1963[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbUtL_0vAJk&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0&color1=0x234900&color2=0x4e9e00&border=1]
Barack Obama’s 2004 Democratic National Convention Speech [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWynt87PaJ0&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0&color1=0x234900&color2=0x4e9e00&border=1]