Communication is, always has been and will continue to be one of the founding pillars of our society. It is what allows relationships to form, our thoughts and voices to be heard and joint decisions to be made. Without communication skills, progressing in life, both personal and professional is almost impossible. Particularly in this generation, where we rather stare into our phone screens than speak to the people around us, communication skills are unfortunately not self-cultivated.
Public Speaking is by far the most scary form of communication. Glossophobia, or a fear of Public Speaking, is extremely common and is believed to affect 75% of the population. Nonetheless, the need for Public Speaking is almost inevitable.
Regardless of who you are or what you do, chances are that you have been or will be faced with having to speak in public in some walk of life. From reciting poems on stage in kindergarten, to defending your thesis in university, to presenting your business plans to investors, the need for Public Speaking skills is abundant and the desire for individuals that possess it, rampant. Unfortunately though, avenues to hone and master this skill are not so common. There is a severe lack of emphasis on the importance of communication skills in our entire education system. Just imagine if we gave communication classes as much importance as mathematics classes! I really think half the world problems would be solved (or at least the process of solving them accelerated)!
DESPAIR NOT! ALL IS NOT LOST!
Slowly but surely, awareness for the need of Public Speaking is growing. More and more people are looking for ways to safely and without repercussions step outside their comfort zones to challenge themselves. That’s a good thing!
SO! Let’s cut to the chase and have a look at three simple ways you can start your journey to Public Speaking mastery.
1) Search on Eventbrite to find Public Speaking Workshops
This is a great way to start. The workshops are usually designed to give you a feel of Public Speaking in a sheltered environment. You are given the basics, the psychology briefly explained and you get a practice ground to try out speaking to an unfamiliar group of people. The best part is that it doesn’t matter at all if you choke up on your words or stammer!
These workshops usually range from half a day to two days and are especially great as they don’t require you to commit for a long-term programme and are also very budget-friendly.
2) Sign up for Group Workshops in your city
Public Speaking, like all other types of skills, need practice (loads of it!), time and patience. These courses are ideal as they allow for ample practice time in a constructive and encouraging environment. These courses delve deeper into the psychology behind being a great public speaker and focus on other advanced skills like body language, purpose-driven movement, tone of voice etc.
Breezi Speaking is one company in Malaysia that offers such courses and have a 99% satisfaction rate! You can see Breezi's monthly workshops near KLCC here
3) Look for Private Mentoring
Private mentoring is ideal for you if you are looking for personal attention, extra focus or have a set goal to achieve. As every individual is different and struggle with different aspects of Public Speaking, the mentor focuses on your needs and tailors the course to suit you.
It is also the most recommended if you are working towards specific target, for instance an important school, university or business presentation, a conference or Best Man’s speech, IPO Announcement etc. The mentor not only trains you with the basics but also provides assistance with content drafting and sculpting of your speech for the specific purpose. Additionally, he/she will provide you with lots of options of venues where you can practice your speech in front of a crowd, risk-free.
There you go! Three simple ways to embark on your journey of Public Speaking Mastery!