[Erin here: This is the second of two lessons from Carter, our outstanding high school administrative assistant. He keeps winning Gold at Wisconsin State Forensics so we think we all can learn something from him.!]
If you are reading this then I like to think that you enjoyed the first part of this two-part blog post, and you want to hear more about the rules that I think are a must to being a great public speaker. Before reading this post, I would advise you to go back and read the first episode of Public Speaking: An Ability Worth Working For, so in the end you can use all the rules that help me speak publicly in an effective way. Now let’s begin (or continue depending on how you look at it).
Rule Three: Value the space you have. Now what I mean by this is move around the stage or area while talking. This is very important when you are giving a speech, especially when you are up on a stage or in front of a large audience. Moving around will make you seem more confident and comfortable with your surroundings. Your audience will respond positively to that confidence and comfort. It will seem as if you are not giving a speech but are just talking to friends. Being confident and comfortable while speaking will make you seem more genuine and trustworthy with what you are talking about. The one thing about this rule is not to over do it. Walking around too much becomes pacing, which will make you seem nervous and unprepared for your speech. I find it is best to break your walking into specific areas for each paragraph of your speech. For instance, with the first paragraph or point I am making, I will start in the middle of the stage, then go to the right for the second paragraph, then to the left for the third, and continue in that pattern for the rest of the speech, ending in the middle of the stage. Once you start to do this, your body will eventually move smoothly without you even thinking about it.
Rule Four: Be engaging. Making a connection is so important when publicly speaking because the entire purpose of it is to get a point across and to impact lives. In order to do that, you must connect with people. A way to accomplish this is to look directly at the people you are speaking to – almost like it is just the two of you in the room. They will hopefully already be looking at you, so the connection is almost already there. Using this rule can make you seem more honest and trustworthy, which is very important when trying to convince someone to see your side. It is even more important when trying to convince them to join your side on a topic, and not just inform them.
So now we have concluded this blog topic. I hope you have learned that public speaking is a very important ability, an ability that does not come over night, but that it is an ability worth working for.