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November 13, 2012 / glennlim thots

The 3 Disciplines to Develop your Speaking Skills!

This article first appeared in 2012.

Hi this is Glenn Lim

I’ve been a professional speaker since 2006. I’ve been a Toastmaster since 2001. And I’ve set up several knowledge-based businesses (training, consultancy, coaching etc) since 2011. I’ve also been a champion public speaker bagging over 60 awards & trophies since 2005.

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Over the years I’ve been consolidating how great public speakers hone their craft. I’ve discovered that it all boils down to 3 things, done consistently. Here are the 3E Disicplines that will help any speaker develop their craft effectively:

1) EXERCISE

A once-off visit to the gym never built anyone ripped muscles! It’s the same with public speaking. You’ve got to get out there in front of a live audience. And you must be able to repeat the process again, which makes it an exercise ‘routine’. All successful speakers make sure they get their weekly dose of stage-time to develop their oratorical muscles, whether paid or unpaid gigs. However, speaking opportunities don’t just fall on your lap. You’ve got to be deliberate to seek them out. Sometimes we have to clamour for that opportunity to speak. But most times we’re scared-stiff when presented with the opportunities. This is because public speaking is still the number 1 fear of humans. That’s really something we have to overcome. The promise is that when you get over your 1st or 2nd presentations, you’ll grow a thicker skin and it gets successively easier! So the next time your boss asks if anyone has anything to share, raise your hand! When there’s an opportunity for a hosting or emcee role, take it up! When it’s your committee’s turn at project presentation, initiate to lead it! Make use of every opportunity to speak in front of a crowd. Remember, practice makes permanent! Otherwise, we lose what we don’t use!

2) EVALUATION

Good presenters always refine their work, based on an evaluation process, whether formally or unstructured. And the best way to evaluate is to solicit feedback from others. When someone gives you feedback, you become more aware of your performance. You know how to correct errors, or improve on certain aspects. But more importantly, you get feedback on your areas of strength, so that you can reinforce and develop it further. With constant critique, you will be able to evaluate your content more rigorously, and you grow! The greatest speakers surround themselves with a constellation of supportive but analytical observers, and are willing to take the honest critique from them. A good mentor or coach will help guide and evaluate your presentations. But even if it is an ad hoc impromptu speech you’re asked to give, you can quickly tap someone nearby for a favour to take notes of your presentation, in order to share observations of how you did for your speech. Having your speech evaluated really accelerates a speaker’s growth. This is because a dedicated evaluator can observe from an objective and unbiased point. And if he can provide you constructive feedback, you develop your skills much faster!

3) EXAMPLES

The best and fastest way to develop one’s communication skills is to Model after effective speakers – their techniques, the structure they use, their presentation style & mannerisms. Modeling after positive examples always cuts short your learning curve. This is because there is already a ready usable ‘template’ out there that is successively proven to work which you can immediately replicate. Great communicators never invent their own wheel. They take other’s tried and proven models, integrate it into their personal experiences, and create their own unique versions. You can start off by selecting a few of your favourite speakers, and begin ‘studying’ them. Today we have the advantage of  social media (like Youtube etc), so it’s pretty easy to search and watch these examples ‘live’ on screen. Utilise keen observation and study their use of language, phrasing, content structure, speech delivery etc, and take notes diligently.  Your learning will begin to accelerate. Because when you see a live demonstration, you can connect the theoretical concepts you have to the actual application.

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So there you have it! The 3 key disciplines that when put to action, will guarantee effective results in your speaking journey! If you’d like to learn more on how to turn your speaking / training passion into a profitable business, Attend my FREE seminar by CLICKING HERE! 

Much blessings!…Glenn Lim

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