Public Speaking: The One Skill Warren Buffet Recommends you to Posses
According to Warren Buffett, public speaking skills can Improve Your Business & Net Worth by 100%. In this article, I will share how to improve public speaking skills.
Many years ago, legendary investor Warren Buffett realized that he’d never make a lasting impact if he didn’t learn and apply this one skill effectively.
Today I am going to share how you can build public speaking skills that changed my and Warren Buffet’s life.
Learning and practicing this skill can make you an authority in your field, help improve your career, and even help build your business!
When practiced enough & done right, It will even make you rich and earn the respect of the world.
At the end of this blog, I am going to share with you a downloadable template with scripts and real-life examples of people who did it successfully. This will make it very easy for you to learn and practice this awesome skill.
How Warren Buffet Learned the art of Public speaking
As a young man, Warren Buffet was not the successful investor that we know him to be today. In fact, he was an introvert who was not keen on reaching out to other people.
However, he soon realized that to make a lasting impact in life, public speaking is one trait that he will have to master.
To hone his skills and make an impact, he then decided to sign-up for a Dale Carnegie public speaking course.
But when the day came, he did not show up.
Just like the rest of us.
However, some months later he again came across an advertisement for the very same course. So, he enrolled again.
But this time he paid in advance.
And he showed up.
What is public speaking?
Public speaking is an act of speaking face to face to a live audience with the objective to educate, entertain or influence. Public speaking is live to an audience. Both the speaker and audience are present during the interaction in person.
Benefits of public speaking
Public Speaking is the one skill that can change your life. I can confidently say it has changed mine!
Learning to hold attention and communicating effectively will make you a better leader. Your public speaking skills will not only improve your confidence but will also help you build authority in your business or career.
What is public speaking skills?
Public speaking skills refer to the ability of an individual to effectively address an audience in person. Public speaking skills come in handy when you are speaking in front of a group of people.
An individual’s ability to educate, entertain or influence an audience to meet certain objectives successfully is called public speaking skills.
How to develop self-confidence and improve public speaking skills
So without wasting any time I am now going to tell you the 6 action steps you can take to improve your public speaking skills.
Step #1 Write something EVERY DAY!
Tim Ferris is a New York Times bestselling author who interviews successful people who have made a mark in their respective fields. When asked which was the most common habit of successful people, Tim replied that 80% of his guests practiced journaling their thoughts and ideas in some form or the other.
Writing down your thoughts, ideas, and even fears every day is a very helpful practice.
When the time comes to express your thoughts verbally and publicly you will be surprised by the clarity and confidence this exercise will give you.
To inculcate the habit of journaling, you can start by writing your everyday thoughts and ideas in a diary or notebook.
And once you feel confident at expressing your thoughts, try engaging on conversational social media platforms such as Twitter, Linked In, and even Facebook groups.
Step #2: Learn from the LEADERS & the LOSERS.
First and foremost you need to know what good communication looks like. Watching speeches online is a great way to learn public speaking with effective communication. Ted Talks are a great place to start.
Remember when you do your research that there are excellent and mediocre people in every field.
Seek out both.
Learn from the excellent speakers what to include in your own scripts. And learn from the worst what blunders to avoid. This is called inverted thinking. Looking at the worst possible outcome can actually help you avoid it.
Now If you are too busy to research or want to avoid wasting your time looking at every tom, dick, and harry’s video in the sea of youtube videos out there then I have a gift for you.
I have done the research for you and have made a list of the excellent and the horrible speakers and put in the names and the links in a sheet. And I am going to give you this sheet which is going to save loads of your time. So watch this video to the end. Ok?
Now when you see these speakers deliver, listen to them and make notes.
Components of a Speach
Try to analyze the impactful speeches. You can learn what works and what does not work.
Every speech has an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.
And here is what you should look out for IN THE INTRODUCTION:
1. How did the speaker grab the attention of the room?
2. Did they start with a relevant question that the audience identified with?
3. Or did they lead with a personal story?
4. Or maybe they kicked off the speech with a factual shocking statement?
Body of the Speech
And now, here is what you should look out for IN THE BODY OF THE SPEECH
1. How did they present their opinion?
2. Did they simplify his arguments?
3. Did they use personal stories to make a connection with the audience?
4. How often did they pause midway? Why did they do that?
5. Did they use any visual aid to convince the listeners?
6. How often did they use metaphors, analogies, and symbolism to add clarity and simplify complex thoughts and ideas?
The conclusion of the speech
And finally here is what you should look out for IN THE CONCLUSION OF THE SPEECH
1. Was their conclusion clear, concise, & memorable?
2. Did they connect it back to something in the introduction or simply drive home the main point of their presentation?
3. Did they include any call-to-action and did it inspire you to take action?
Body language in public speaking
Observe the speaker’s non-verbal or body language as well. Here are some things you should pay attention to:
- Eye Contact
- What do they do with their hands during the speech?
- If they made a mistake, how did they recover from it?
- What kind of clothes did they wear?
Some speakers seem naturally talented. However, no matter how easy it looks, they have no doubt put in hours of practice into their talks.
And you, my friend, will need to do the same.
Step #3: Observe successful communicators around you
Watching established leaders & speakers is good. But at the end of the day, we will need to apply what we learn in our daily life with our peers and colleagues.
We are not looking to give speeches to them but we want to learn and practice being more effective communicators.
Is there a person who is friendly with everyone?
Someone who is an absolute favorite of the bosses and colleagues alike? Someone, you want to be like? If yes, then observe them.
See how they approach people and how they approach a topic.
- Observe if their body language is open and welcoming. Do they smile often?
- How do they grab attention and converse in a group?
- Notice their confidence and way of standing. A confident posture can impact how people see you and perceive you.
- How do they excuse themselves from conversations?
- How do they communicate when they are annoyed or upset? Do they raise their voice to dominate the conversation? Or do they remain calm?
Study the confident communicators around you. Pay attention to how they navigate complex situations and the words they use to explain complicated ideas.
Step #4: Record Yourself Speak
Enough learning! We have now reached the action-taking stage.
It’s time to make your first speech to the camera and record it.
You can try answering questions. Refer to the topics or questions you wrote in your journal in the very first step.
But let me warn you, the first time you might need to take even 50 retakes.
However, don’t give up just yet. Once you complete the first recording, it just gets easier and easier from there.
Doing this regularly on a daily basis will soon skyrocket your confidence and put you on the path to being a spellbinding speaker.
Step #5: Start Outreach
Reach out to 1 new person every week.
Suresh Venkateshwaran, my boss in my former marketing manager life, once told me that the fastest way to get what you want is by getting to know the people who are doing what you want to do.
Recently I reached out to David Aaker the God Of branding for MBA students and was really ecstatic to get a reply from him especially among so many others I am now in touch with.
Putting yourself in front of other people will help you become good at the following things.
- It will force you to do your homework and prepare an interesting introduction.
- You will become a better listener.
- You will be ready and comfortable to talk about your own values, experiences, and future plans.
- Your written communication will improve.
- You will successfully learn outreach communication & networking
Now the chances are that the people you get in touch with are very cautious of who they reply to. So this exercise will force you to get your outreach message right.
Linkedin is a great platform to start your outreach efforts. The platform will limit your message to 300 words for any new connections you make. This will force you to become precise and make every word count.
Step #6: Teach To A Group
Volunteer to teach whenever you can.
Teaching other people anything will make you an authority in that subject and give you the confidence to speak publicly about it.
I have taught everything from digital marketing, SEO to online advertising to new joiners, and experienced the learning journey of team members of my now 6-year-old digital firm.
Even today, I take out 3–4 hours every week to mentor team members.
I even teach my clients the basics of advanced strategies in branding, advertising, sales and distribution, and more.
Here’s what you get if you teach others:
- You become an authority in your subject
- You develop the confidence to speak anywhere to any number of people about it.
- Learn to create engaging lesson plans
- Become an excellent communicator and speaker.
Look for ways to teach around yourself. Maybe in your community or even at your workplace, where you can offer to mentor new joiners.
If you look around, most successful people you know will be excellent communicators. Unless of course, you are a tech genius!
But for the rest of us, we need to build authority and effective communication skills for life.
So implement these 6 action steps and become an effective communicator and a spellbinding public speaker.
Now let me come back to the promise I made at the beginning of this video.
Here is the downloadable template to research and learn public speaking in an easy and quick way.
I hope that you found this video a useful addition to your endeavor to improve your personal and professional potential.
Please write in the comments how you plan to use this video and the template.
Write in the comments if you liked this video and write even if you have any negative feedback. I try to read and reply to every single comment in my blogs.
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- What is public speaking in Hindi?
- सार्वजनिक भाषण (Public speaking) शिक्षित करने, मनोरंजन करने या प्रभावित करने के उद्देश्य से लाइव दर्शकों के सामने आमने-सामने बोलने का एक कार्य है। सार्वजनिक बोलना दर्शकों के लिए लाइव है। वक्ता और श्रोता दोनों व्यक्तिगत रूप से बातचीत के दौरान मौजूद रहते हैं।
- What is public speaking?
- Public speaking refers to the art of speaking to a group of audience face to face. However, with the changing times, the need for a public speaker to be face to face with the audience has diminished. Instead, you can be speaking to an audience on a digital communication channel like Zoom or making a video for social media platforms like Youtube or Instagram.
- In its true essence, public speaking is a way of communicating your message to an audience in an organized manner. Public speaking is often performed to entertain, persuade, share information, or to influence an audience. Public speaking is an art and comes naturally to some people. Though like any other form of art, it can be learned by practice and following best practices.
- How to be confident in public speaking?
- To communicate your message effectively to an audience, you need to exude confidence. Here are a few tips to ensure that you appear confident during public speaking.
- 1 Maintain eye contact with the audience:
Looking people in the eye while speaking to them is crucial. In a public speaking setup, you must look at all sections of the audience. Eye contact of over 5 seconds is not appreciated. Try to make small contacts with more people.
- 2 Use gestures:
Body language is a huge part of public speaking. Using your hands and gestures shows that you are confident with the subject matter. Do not fidget or cross your hands — it shows a closed personality with inhibitions.
- 3 Use the stage:
The best of public speakers move around the stage. They use the space provided to them and own it. Standing at one place and narrating a speech is not the best practice for public speaking. However, if you are given a podium, then standing at it is imperative.
- 4 Facial Expressions:
Your body and face is your weapon when influencing people on a stage. To command the room, you need to use all the arsenal available in your armory. Your facial expressions must match with what you are saying. Adding a bit of dramatics will only help your cause.
- 5 Voice Modulation:
Narrating your point of view in a monotone will just bore the audience and make them unreceptive. Use voice modulation to engage the audience with your message. Try to keep the same volume of voice at the beginning and end of sentences. Do not allow the message to be lost with a shallow and timid voice. Instead, command the room with a strong voice and engage them with timely modulations.
- What are public speaking skills?
- Public speaking skills refer to the skill and talent of addressing and captivating an audience. The audience can be known or unknown. The audience can be virtual or physical. As long as you are addressing a group of people, it falls under public speaking skills. Public speaking skills enable you to communicate your ideas, thoughts, and messages clearly to a big audience.
- The reason for your address could be varied. The purpose of your speech can be to influence, entertain, persuade, or just to share information. People with good public speaking skills tend to become influential leaders and excel in personal life too.
- What causes fear of public speaking?
- Fear of public speaking is called Glossophobia.
- Glossophobia roots in past experiences or the fear of being judged or embarrassed in front of a large audience. Fear of public speaking often stems from fear of rejection as well. As students, if you faced rejection or had a bad experience at public speaking — the chances are that you are scared of public speaking.
- Most people face Glossophobia when asked to speak on the spot without preparation. The fear also arises when you overestimate the stakes of public speaking and expressing your ideas with people.
- The best way to win over the fear of public speaking is practice. Don’t back down from public speaking, and take up every opportunity to stand up and voice your thoughts. Being upfront and facing the situation head-on will help you win over your fear of Glossophobia.
- How to overcome stage fright and fear of public speaking?
- Stage fright and Glossophobia combined can wreak havoc for someone who is trying to inculcate the skill of public speaking. Here are a few helpful tips and tricks :
- 1 Focus on the contribution you will make by giving the speech. If you think about your fear and negative scenarios, the chances of a mishap are more.
- 2 Shift your focus to calming and reassuring situations. Fill your mind with positive thoughts and experiences.
- 3 Practice ways to calm your nerves. Device ways that best suit you. You might be a meditation person or a yoga person, or a deep breathing person. Find the practice that suits you the best and act upon it before the speech.
- 4 Try to limit your alcohol and coffee consumption before the big speech. Consumption of these drinks can make you jittery.
- 5 Be natural while giving a speech. Don’t try to be someone else. Being authentic is appreciated. Trying to be someone else will only deter your confidence and make way for follies.
- How to speak in front of the public?
- Every speaker has an individual approach when it comes to public speaking. However, there are a few things that all speakers follow, and you can try too to boost your confidence.
- 1 Be Authentic:
Being real and authentic is what gets you a round of applause. If you are nervous, tell the audience that it is your first time and you are super nervous. In situations like these, the audiences connect with you better and try to make the speech a whopping success for you.
- 2 Befriend your Audience:
Your audience is not your enemy. They are there to support you and listen to you. Considering your audience-friendly will help you speak freely. Even though your audience is filled with strange and new faces, considering them your allies will only improve your performance.
- 3 Visual aids to the rescue:
Humans are visual animals. We enjoy props that we can see. Using a presentation, audiovisual clip, or just props to make your point will give you some breathing space. It will also engage the audience and make your speech a power packer.
- 4 Solid Contingency Plans:
In a live situation where you are relying on electronic devices — you must have a fail-safe. Make a contingency plan! This will ensure that if the situation goes sideways, you as a speaker will still thrive.
- 5 Personalize your script:
If you go on stage and dump facts, people will easily get bored and distracted. It is recommended that you use anecdotes and short stories to personalize the script and connect better with the audience.
- How to start public speaking?
- Every task is best performed with practice. If you want to become a public speaker, you must practice and start small. Start taking up every opportunity which forces you to speak to an audience. The opportunity can be as small as speaking to a group of friends or sharing ideas with a group of colleagues. Grabbing such opportunities will help you reach the point where you will be able to command a whole stadium.
- What are the 7 elements of public speaking?
- The seven elements of public speaking are:
- 1 The speaker:
Speaker is the one talking during a public speaking event. The stage wouldn’t be set without the speaker.
- 2 The message:
Message is the information presented by the speaker in his speech. The message is judged on three basic attributes — content, style, and structure.
- 3 The audience or receiver:
The speaker must always gauge his audience. The speaker must have some details about the demographic he is speaking to. Knowing your audience will help in crafting content that is easily perceived by the audience.
- 4 The channel:
When the speaker is talking on stage, audiences listen to things more than mere words. The audience observes the non-verbal and visual channels as well. The audiences notice if you pay attention to all members of the audience or are focused on a few. They notice if you are making eye contact or not. Audiences observe your confidence level. Avoid fidgeting, and focus on your content.
- Feedback is the most important part of public speaking. It may come in the format of people asking questions, clapping when there’s a gap, laughing at a joke, or even yawning while you speak. It is essential you pick up these clues and tweak your content to the audience’s interest.
- Noise can be any kind of interruption or discomfort that you face as a speaker. Noise can range from poor acoustics, bad ventilation, unwarranted temperature, or visual obstruction between the speaker and audience. Noise can be internal as well. It can be your discomfort, need to run away, or your internal critic giving you a hard time.
- 7 The situation or place:
The situation or place of the speech is one of the most important parts of the elements of speech. It can be a deciding factor in your success. It’s recommended to visit the place of the speech beforehand. Visiting and coordinating the situation, i.e., the lighting, temperature, and seats, can immensely boost your confidence.
- What is the art of public speaking called?
- The art of public speaking is also called oratorship or oratory. Though public speaking is often considered an art, it really is a skill. A skill that can be acquired, learned, practiced, and perfected over time. If you want to develop the skill of oratorship and want to speak fluently in front of large audiences, here are a few helpful tips:
- Always prepare your ideas well. Don’t save time on research and be well prepared with subject matter and notes.
- Find an angle that you resonate with. If you speak on a subject or angle you do not feel strongly about; your speech will look bland and without an authentic point of view.
- Instead of drawing out a speech, make a structure. Follow the structure, and don’t miss out on touching all the points you want to address.
- Practice your speech multiple times to ensure a perfect flow.
- Use props to make your presentation more interactive and engaging.
Branding & Digital Marketing Consultant and Founder of BrandLoom Consulting (A $1m startup). Help companies generate more revenue through digital marketing and branding. Growth Driver of Large Global Companies and Successful Startups. Built Sustainable & Profitable Businesses for over 100 Brands during 18 years-long global career. Speaker at CII, CITI, ASSOCHAM, and several prominent Industry Forums. Covered by TOI, ET, The Hindu, Silicon India, The CEO, and many publications.
Originally published at https://www.avinashchandra.com on June 12, 2021.