Monday, December 15, 2014

Passionate Speaking

People aren't nasty. Some are, but those skebengas are a rounding error. One of the biggest fears people have is public speaking. This is a great example of where we think people are thinking things they aren't thinking. Usually when you have an audience of people listening to you, they really aren't trying to shoot you down. We want to enjoy ourselves and when we listen to someone speak, we look for reasons to enjoy it. Perhaps our fears come from school orals. Little kids standing up in front of other kids and doing talks when they are nervous. Now you may have already started finding holes in my story... people aren't nasty but sometimes kids are horrendous. They haven't learnt yet that no one really likes a bully. At some point even the nastiest of kids learns that it is more fun for everyone if you play nice.

My favourite TED talk is one of the first I watched. What Ken Robinson does so well is that it is just a conversation. His voice is the same voice you would imagine him using if you were sitting having a cup of coffee together. So you feel like that is what is happening. Now he is a witty Brit, and does have a way of telling stories. But mostly, he is calm. He is in control of his breath and the focus is on the content. The best way to become a great communicator is to really know and be passionate about what you are speaking about. This shines through in his talk. He really believes that we can do a better job of finding the magic that makes people tick. We all feel passionately about something, and it is rather sad that we don't tend to talk, write or share because we are worried about what people will think about our ability.

Perhaps the trick is to write or talk like you are with someone you trust. When your voice switches to school oral mode the fear may have kicked in. You forget that actually people want to hear what you are passionate about.

For some fantastic resources on presenting, check out

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