Public Speaking … what is it?
Nowadays this word has become commonplace…. but what does it really mean?
Meaning of the word “Public Speaking”
The term “Public Speaking” means the act of personally delivering a speech “live” or “face to face” in front of an audience of listeners, without resorting to the use of remote videoconferencing tools.
This word, borrowed from English, therefore refers to the activity of “Speaking in Public” in front of an audience.
While for some categories of people (for example teachers or trainers) “Public Speaking” can be pleasant and rewarding (as they are used to teaching their students), for others, this activity can create anxiety and tension, since they are not used to having to deal with many interlocutors who can ask questions.
The main obstacles to “Public Speaking”
In addition to inexperience, we can say that the main obstacles to Public Speaking are represented by:
- Anxiety and Worry: These feelings can cause emotional and communication blocks
- Poor self-esteem: it can take over, in case of questions from the public that you don’t know how to answer
- Indifference or boredom on the part of the audience: manifested by lack of attention or yawning of the listeners
This last point is the most “crucial” and a good Public Speaker must try to avoid it right away, always trying to keep the interest of the interlocutors alive, involving them with questions and never being banal …
To do this he must always strive to be “himself” and to create a sort of “empathy” with his audience, speaking in a clear and understandable way and, when circumstances require it, he must also “amaze” the audience, making recourse improvisation (perhaps by telling personal experiences or anecdotes) to capture their interest.
Do you want to try to train at “Public Speaking”, doing some little preliminary exercises?
We suggest a small but effective “exercise”, to be repeated daily in the week preceding the event: identify a room in your apartment (another room) and practice speaking, concentrating on a fixed point of the same (more familiar to you), but at the same time not taking your eyes off the rest of the room. In case of anxiety or stress, we recommend that you hold a small object in your hand and, before starting each speech, get into the habit of choosing a small “superstitious gesture” to repeat every time before going on stage. In conclusion, it is always useful to keep in mind a “tip” from Richard Branson, successful entrepreneur and founder of the Virgin Group, in relation to the techniques of “Public Speaking”: “imagine yourself in a living room chatting with your friends: you would be relaxed and comfortable talking to them. The same is true when you speak in public!”