In every public speaking workshop or training I do, I start off with a deconstruction of the public speaking concept itself. Whether you love or hate public speaking, when we hear these two words, immediately, we associate it with speaking to a big audience.
What if we look at it a from a different angle? Instead of calling it public speaking, let’s try referring to it as: a conversation with a friend. Each time you have to present something, you can see it as a conversation with a friend.
Depending on the audience, you can adapt the conversation as if you were talking to a 5-year-old friend, a teenager friend that doesn’t know what to do after high school, a 75-year-old which is a friend, a friend of your age, or even of your age but knows nothing about your work, nor the technical concepts of it. All the above mentioned are your friends, but according to their background, when talking to them, you may have to adapt what you have to say and how you say it.
During the public speaking training or 1 on 1 coaching sessions, there is a time, where I have participants deliver a “conversation” followed by feedback. There are times participants are tense, nervous and even uncomfortable. When this occurs, I ask them to picture the person in their lives, they feel more comfortable with sharing the most intimate things. Once they have that person in their minds, I ask them to pretend they are having the “conversation” with that person. The change is beautiful to watch. Not only it is visible to everyone in the room but participants who try to deliver their presentation as if they were talking to a friend, report it as more comfortable and natural. An experience were felt more like themselves and had fun doing.
When you speak to a friend, it is easy to be yourself. When you are yourself it is easy to have fun. And when you have fun, others have fun listening to you.
Next time you have to speak in public, or as we call it, have a conversation, have it as if you were talking to a friend. Enjoy your upcoming conversations!
Lerio & Miguel
P.S: Stay tuned for next Monday’s Quote!