When Speaking, First Put the First Things First

When Speaking, First Put the First Things First

You are up on stage, as a host, as an emcee, or as just someone asking a question, and you reflect back and think to yourself: Why did I say that one thing, and not say the other thing? I hope nobody noticed my stutter. Did I raise my voice at the end? You could have done better.

As the Bard once said, “All the world’s a stage.” Being on stage is simply a matter of being in front of more than one person.

We’re all on stage numerous times per day. There’s nothing more exciting and terrifying than speaking in front of people. I jump at every opportunity to be on stage and I often fail. These failures help me get better. Here are three tips that I have learned, by failing, which have helped me become a better speaker. And just so you know, the learning never stops.

Never Say No to a Speaking opportunity

What I have found is that the more I fail on stage, the more likely I am to avoid mistakes next time. Take every opportunity you have to be up on stage. If you’re in a group and have a chance to ask a question, ask it. If you’re in public and have a chance to offer your opinion, offer it. Every time we speak, there’s a chance someone else will hear. And every time we speak, we’re able to hear ourselves and reflect on what we’ve said. Be it good or bad, there’s always room for improvement. So if you never say no to a speaking opportunity, you will increase your chances of exposure to a variety of situations that will only make you a stronger speaker. #sayyes

Understand how to choose a good speech topic

One thing that every great speaker understands, or tries to make sure they have a good idea of, is their audience. When choosing your topic for your speech, keep the audience in mind and dig up relevant stories. We all have stories. Life is full of adventures that makes for great content. Keep things simple and focus on a few main takeaways that you can share through a personal story. Knowing your audience’s interests will help you to dig up one of your stories that is relevant to a specific topic that will resonate with your listeners. The best thing about your own personal stories is that you don’t have to memorize them, you just have to re-tell them!#storiesrock

Bring your own water

Water is essential to life. It’s when you don’t have water, things become a problem, especially if you are about to go on stage and you don’t have any! As a rule of thumb, do not rely on the availability of water everywhere. It is a great idea to have your own refillable water bottle, especially when you’re traveling and speaking at various events. You don’t want to be in a foreign location without access to water. #H20

Now it is your turn. Share some of your favorite speaking tips or even better, speaking failures as comments below so that we can all learn from each others brainpower and mistakes!