Loving Public Speaking and Inspirational Speakers
By Laura Perry, Copywriting & Editing Intern at Talent Academy
Public speaking doesn’t come easily to most people. In fact, recent research has found that 77% of the population experience some form of anxiety regarding public speaking (Fritscher 2021).
In our latest episode of Talent Academy’s Clubhouse Chatroom series, Sanja Jovanovic, Founder & Managing Director of Talent Academy is joined by Talent Academy’s Lead Facilitator, Tom Hendrick, who shares his top three most inspirational public speakers, and some tips to becoming more comfortable with public speaking.
This post is part of Talent Academy's Clubhouse Chatroom series, Episode 5 "Inspirational Public Speakers". To watch the episode click here or watch below.
How to be more comfortable with public speaking
Most people start off not really knowing what to do when it comes to public speaking. This lack of knowledge is often the root of people’s nerves, as they are under-prepared, and fear being judged on what they say or how they say it.
Tom recalls that he took small steps to developing his passion for public speaking, starting off by reading stories and saying tongue twisters, and eventually doing this in front of increasingly larger groups of people. Overtime, he started to feel more comfortable and excited for these experiences, rather than feeling nervous.
So how do you get from anxiety to stage confidence?
Well, when you look at professional performers, whether they are singers, actors, or even athletes, they all have a plan. When it comes to public speaking, most of us don’t have a plan. We don’t have a routine, and so we don’t have the muscle memory necessary to effortlessly deliver a speech.
Our advice to you is to develop a pre-speech routine.
People are capable of achieving a lot under pressure, and it is significantly easier to do so when some things come automatically. Pressure usually deters us, but Sanja reminds viewers that diamonds are made under pressure, and likewise, some of our best learning comes from situations in which we are under pressure.
So before you present, make a regular routine. Take the time to have a drink of water, take a breath, remove your jacket, and do the same thing, in the same order every time you present. This process will be unique to each person, and will help to put you in the right headspace.
The familiarity of routine will put you at ease before starting your speech, allowing you to present your speech to the best of your ability because you aren’t overthinking and stressing out.
What can you put in place for your process? Tell us in the comments what works for you!
Top 3 Speakers Tom aspires to:
1. George Clooney
In the film, Up in the Air, Clooney’s character gives a speech telling people how to live a minimalist lifestyle. He uses a physical backpack on stage and describes fitting everything you own (clothes, mattress, etc.) into the backpack, and how heavy this becomes. His descriptive storytelling makes the audience feel the bag on their back, with the straps digging into their shoulders. Clooney then tells them to set the backpack on fire and take what is important.
Tom highlights that because it is such a radical idea that may be met with criticism, Clooney’s speech is effective in its delivery as he makes the audience feel the effects first, and then tells them the idea so that they can’t go back in time and challenge it.
2. Julia Gillard
Australia’s former Prime Minister’s so-called “Misogyny Speech,” Gillard makes her point in an assertive way without endangering her integrity. In parliament, you have to compete with people speaking over the top of you, but Gillard is able to keep calm and steaming ahead.
She delivers her speech with pauses, rhythm, and a level of aggression that teeters on the line without ever crossing it. Despite being under immense pressure, Gillard delivers a well written speech and has a lasting impact on her audience.
3. Joe Smith
In his TEDx speech, Smith uses a hyper-visual method of presenting to convey his message that we all use way too much paper when washing our hands. Tom admits that the speech starts off a bit slow - too many statistics and too much information - but after about 2 minutes, Smith starts to physically demonstrate how we should be washing our hands to reduce the amount of paper we use.
His live demonstration and audience participation makes for an engaging presentation, which not only talks to his audience, but also to the audience’s audience as they will go tell people they know what they have learnt. With very little effort, Smith manages to give his speech to a far greater audience, which has a far greater impact.
Who are your top 3 inspirational public speakers? They could be Hollywood persons, politicians, or even comedians, all look natural on stage and are wildly engaging. Tell us your top 3 most inspirational speakers in the comments below!
Fritscher, Lisa 2021. Glossophobia or the Fear of Public Speaking, VeryWellMind, viewed 17 November 2021. URL: https://www.verywellmind.com/glossophobia-2671860