Great speakers, like great performers have 3 key components to their success:
- They are trained.
- They practice, train, drill & prepare tirelessly.
- They take on every opportunity to speak up, everywhere they can.
Why are good communication skills so important?
- Grabs & retains people’s attention.
- People remember you.
- Increases your confidence.
- Persuades people to buy into you, your product, your brand, service or idea.
- Inspires others to take action
- Influences the desired outcome.
- Helps you develop your gravitas!
- Ensures your message is heard.
- Reduces anxiety & stress.
- Allows you to speak with conviction & persuasion.
Great communicators are NOT born this way. There is no genetic link. Communication skills, oratory skills, & persuasion skills, are developed & perfected with time, effort and persistence.
Preparation and practice is not a step you can skip over.
Do you want to be memorable? Few people are. The great communicators are impressive in their persuasiveness. They’re either getting you to think differently, act differently, purchase differently or behave differently. All powerful accomplishments.
Examples of strong female speakers:
- Here is 15 year old Tavi Gevinson speaking at TEDxTeen.
Can you imagine being this great at 15?? No, her talk isn’t perfect, but perfection is NOT the goal, ever. She has gravitas. She has confidence. She has ambition. She connects with the audience, that’s what counts. She also self-promotes and asks people to visit her website!!
- Here is Kayla Kearney coming out to her high school classmates. Her speech is powerful because it’s personal and courageous and makes people uncomfortable….which is a good thing.
- Maya Angelou’s eulogy for Coretta Scott King. A powerful (and short!) speech that is inclusive (a difficult task to make everyone feel included in such a large funeral gathering); she asks the audience to take action (5 particular requests) and she delivers it all in the poetic, melodic cadence of her beautiful speaking voice.
- Here is Viola Davis (actress extraordinaire!) accepting an award for her work with the charity Hunger Is.
A brilliantly short speech (just 5 minutes) that immediately captures the audience’s attention. She employs the use of deliberate pauses and silent moments perfectly. She connects with the audience by sharing her own experiences with hunger and she asks for something. She asks that we eradicate the word “unspeakable”….and goes on to say that everything should be speakable. Everyone’s testimony deserves to be spoken.
What was so special about these examples?
- Each speaker was unique, crafting their own style and delivery.
- Each one practiced & prepared a talk of substance with a call to action.
- Each one connected with the audience by opening up and revealing something of their own experiences.
- The use of visuals and props was minimal.
- The story, delivery, tone of voice and stage presence was persuasive.
- These women were passionate, shared their personal stories, spoke clearly and made eye contact with the audience.
What can you learn from these speeches to improve upon your next public speaking opportunity?