It is not easy to capture a large audience. Public speaking certainly requires a combination of strong communication skills, charisma and confidence. People who are considered the best speakers in history are Abraham Lincoln, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., John Kennedy and Dwight D. Eisenhower. This raises the question – is public speaking something you born with or is it a skill you can develop?
American billionaire investor Warren Buffett is a perfect example how one can learn to speak in public. As a college student, Warren Buffett would base his choice of classes on whether he would have to make public presentations. He realized the importance of communication with time and was able to overcome his fear of public speaking. In one interview, a reporter asked Buffett: “What habits did you cultivate in your 20s and 30s that you see as the foundation of success?” Buffett’s answer was: “You’ve got to be able to communicate in life and it’s enormously important. Schools, to some extent, under emphasize that. If you can’t communicate and talk to other people and get across your ideas, you’re giving up your potential.”
Although it is easier for people with outgoing and sociable personalities to speak in public, anybody can improve their public speaking skills. Here are some tips that will help you to overcome a fear of public speaking and give you the ability to capture and hold people’s attention:
1. Know the material
It is always difficult to talk about something you are not very familiar with. Make sure you know the topic before you make a speech or a presentation.
Elbert Green Hubbard once said, “The only way to learn to speak is to speak and speak, and speak and speak, and speak and speak and speak.” Use every opportunity to speak in public; that’s how you improve yourself, that’s how you grow.
3. Reframe your thoughts
Don’t think about failure and believe in yourself. The audience is there because people want to know what you have to say.