"Great Public Speakers Are Made, Not Born. You and Your Research."

Esteban Tala

Esteban Tala

Jan 23, 20243 min read

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"Great Public Speakers Are Made, Not Born. You and Your Research."

Public speaking is a skill that many people find intimidating, but it is a skill that can be developed with practice and dedication. Just like any other skill, becoming a great public speaker requires taking small, intentional steps and being committed to continuous improvement.

In his famous lecture, "You and Your Research," Richard Hamming emphasizes the importance of preparation and being ready for opportunities when they arise. He quotes Pasteur, who said, "Luck favors the prepared mind." This statement holds true for public speaking as well. While there may be an element of luck in the opportunities that come your way, it is the prepared mind that ultimately finds success.

Building confidence is a crucial aspect of becoming a great public speaker. It is natural to feel nervous when speaking in front of an audience, but with practice, you can overcome this fear. Start by speaking in front of small groups, such as friends or family members, and gradually work your way up to larger audiences. Each time you speak, focus on improving specific areas, such as voice projection or body language. By consistently challenging yourself to speak in different settings, you will gradually build confidence and become more comfortable in front of any audience.

Another important aspect of becoming a great public speaker is honing your communication skills. Effective communication involves not just speaking, but also actively listening and engaging with your audience. Pay attention to how you deliver your message and the impact it has on your listeners. Are you speaking too fast or too softly? Do you maintain eye contact and use gestures to emphasize key points? By being mindful of these aspects and seeking feedback from others, you can refine your communication skills and deliver more impactful speeches.

One unique insight is that public speaking is not just about delivering a speech, but also about connecting with your audience. To truly engage your listeners, it is important to understand their needs, interests, and expectations. Research your audience beforehand to tailor your message accordingly. Consider using storytelling techniques to make your speech more relatable and memorable. By creating a connection with your audience, you can leave a lasting impression and inspire action.

In conclusion, great public speakers are made, not born. By taking small, intentional steps to speak in front of people, you can build confidence and display impressive skills. Remember to prepare yourself mentally and be ready to seize opportunities when they come. Focus on building your confidence through practice and gradually speaking in front of larger audiences. Hone your communication skills by paying attention to your delivery and actively engaging with your audience. Lastly, understand the importance of connecting with your audience and tailor your message to their needs. With dedication and persistence, you can become a great public speaker and make a lasting impact.

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