The Role of the Public Speaker
by
Luksi Humma
Published on October 21, 2017
Writing & Speaking / Article Writing

Throughout the years of my life, I have addressed many people through public speaking. I have also met many, who could not make themselves go before an audience, in spite of their, deep personal knowledge, of interesting subject matter.

If you are having this troubling experience, read on, and we will explore some of the tricks, and tribulations, of public speaking.

One of the most frightening experiences a public speaker may encounter is; walking out on the stage and seeing hundreds of people in the audience. This can be overwhelming to public speakers, even those with years of experience. One might try to look at your audience, intently. Seems aggressive to some people, but, this is the key to being "in charge".

Why would a speaker want to be "in charge" of their audience? A speaker needs to be "the leader" of the group. If I am in charge of a group, then, they go where I want them to go. If the speaker is leading the group, they will more easily follow along with you, as you speak. This does not preclude knowledge of your subject matter, and confidence, supported by poise, while delivering the material.

A speaker also needs to monitor their audience, even while trying to focus on all the important skills involved, with the delivery process. Listen to your audience noise level, are they coughing, yawning, talking with each other? This is a sign, that you are losing their interest. At this point, you must have the poise to think about what you are doing wrong, correct the problem, and move on seamlessly. This is a great deal of emotional strain in the beginning of your speaking life. Later, with experience, it will become easy.

Monitor yourself; sometimes you can use strong emotions to bring your audience "back to life". I have, on occasion, raised my voice level to alarming levels and became visibly demonstrative to effect change in my audience attentiveness. Startling them back into line is my way of saying it.

One must not drone on about a particular subject. Make it short and interesting. How do you know what is interesting to your audience? Test them, and watch their faces. Many people faces will light up with quizzical expressions when you hit the sweet spot. Stick with that style and content for a few minutes, then move on to a new test. It actually becomes fun, when you get the hang of it.

It seems overwhelming when you read this article, but, application of these principles can help you become a skillful and strong public speaker.

Let us not forget to mention a few more tactics. How are you going to end your speech? I try to end with a very emotional appeal. Zeal and gusto are my favorite adjectives. Leave that door open for questions after you are done.

Many in your audience will want to talk with your privately, when the speech is over. If possible, oblige them, as it endears you to your audience. It may also open doors for further speaking engagements, in the future. The more you do it, the more you will like it.

This article may only wet your appetite for the challenge of public speaking. Move forward and try it, share your knowledge with others. They will benefit and you will too.

The most memorable part of my public speaking education came at my graduation from the Gabriel Richard Public Speaking course. The golden nugget of public speaking, "your audience expects you to be a leader, they do not know that this is your first time at the podium". I took that ball, ran with it, now facing audiences for thirty five years, I love it more than ever.

Native American public speaker and teacher. Working for the federal government, tribes, and families across America.

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