Public speaking; a tool for survival

PUBLIC speaking is one of the tools that would help one earn a living. Much as one would look for white collar jobs from a bigger office, it is also vital to note how important public speaking as a skill is.

PUBLIC speaking is one of the tools that would help one earn a living. Much as one would look for white collar jobs from a bigger office, it is also vital to note how important public speaking as a skill is.

As a speaker, you need to know your audience. Before you open your mouth or even prepare, you need to know your audience.

Ask yourself the following questions. What is the audience’s education level, challenges gender, age and their average income?

Such information is very vital because if for example your audience mainly understands Kinyarwanda, then your victorian English won’t work.

Again, know the objective of your speech. What exactly do you want to achieve as you finish your talk. In other words, how do you want your listeners to think, feel and behave?

A good speaker can easily tell whether the speech was purposeful or not.

Know your opening, middle and ending. The most important parts of your speech are the opening and ending. How you kick off will set the pace for the rest of your talk.

You could kick off with a question, a story, a joke or a startling statement, this will make the speech catchy and relevant.

As for the middle, think about the main points and back them up with evidence or facts. End on a high note wit a challenge; what do you want people do or how do you want them to behave? That is much better than ending with “That’s all I had to say.”

During your speech, use stories and illustrations to bring out your story to reality.

Speak with passion. To capture the attention of others you need to speak with your heart not just the head, with emotion not just conviction.

Feel what you are talking about and your listeners will most probably feel you. If you need a true test of passion, borrow a leaf from pastors on the streets, you will set your audience on fire.

Eye contact is very vital. Look people in the eyes. People will never trust you when you just shy away from them.
Above all, try your best to attend workshops on the same subject and see how people perform at public speaking gatherings.

I was shocked one day when we attended a meeting and one of us was to present a speech. Because he wasn’t connected to the audience, almost everybody was out by the time he finished his presentation.

Most of us here lack such a skill yet it is vital for our survival.

Given the above tips, one can make it up to life. Selling your name will make people look for you from all corners ad in the end you will earn a living.

The author is a teacher at Kagarama secondary school
shebs10@yahoo.com

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