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Author Topic: How can I be a great speaker?  (Read 2202 times)

Fjorgynn

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How can I be a great speaker?
« on: July 18, 2012, 08:45:28 AM »
Yes, I know that practice is awesome, but it is hard for me to talk if someone don't give me questions. I have also problems when it comes to think and talk at the same time, I usually most stop, I correct and repeat all the misstakes I do and I make big pauses when I talk, which aint the best way to produce audio or video.

Professional podcasters like Jack Spirko, Cliff Ravenscraft or professional radio hosts like Glenn Beck, Alex Jones or your local news host haven't got that problem. Sure it's because of their experience, but how do I get it and what can I do to become a more confident speaker?
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Richard

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Re: How can I be a great speaker?
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2012, 05:45:49 PM »
Do you have a Toastmasters group in your area?  Toastmasters is an organization where professionals come together to practice their speech making skills.  I participated in Toastmasters as a teen (my dad's suggestion) and I have benefitted all of my life from it.  If you have something like that in your area, it is worth participating in.

Checking their website, you can check for groups around the world here:  http://reports.toastmasters.org/findaclub/

And it looks like dues are only $36/6 months.  Not bad at all.

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Fjorgynn

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Re: How can I be a great speaker?
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2012, 08:36:46 AM »
I didn't know about that. And yes, there are one near me. But still, there must be other ways if I want to record myself for audio and video stuff.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2012, 08:39:36 AM by Fjorgynn »
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Jesse2004

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Re: How can I be a great speaker?
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2012, 09:32:10 AM »
Yes, I know that practice is awesome, but it is hard for me to talk if someone don't give me questions. I have also problems when it comes to think and talk at the same time, I usually most stop, I correct and repeat all the misstakes I do and I make big pauses when I talk, which aint the best way to produce audio or video.

Professional podcasters like Jack Spirko, Cliff Ravenscraft or professional radio hosts like Glenn Beck, Alex Jones or your local news host haven't got that problem. Sure it's because of their experience, but how do I get it and what can I do to become a more confident speaker?

For presenting in front of people, toastmasters is definitely a great option.  Also a friend of mine is taking a Dale Carnegie course on public speaking (‎"Effective communication and human relations") that he says is really great.


But, I'm guessing you want to be a better speaker for podcasting, not presentations to large groups of people.   For becoming a better podcaster - practice.  If you are going to do audio, do a practice audio podcast.  If you want to get better on camera, do a video recording.  Put together some notes / questions / topics to discuss and then give it a go.  Try for a 1-3 minute segment first.  Go start to finish.  Record it.  And then stop, play it back, making some notes on what you'd like to do better.  Then do it again.  While recording, don't worry about how bad it is - it's just a practice one you are going to throw away anyway.

Don't get hung up on not having the right microphone, camera, or anything, use what you have and just get started.
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r00tbeer

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Re: How can I be a great speaker?
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2012, 05:38:09 PM »
Yes, I know that practice is awesome, but it is hard for me to talk if someone don't give me questions. I have also problems when it comes to think and talk at the same time, I usually most stop, I correct and repeat all the misstakes I do and I make big pauses when I talk, which aint the best way to produce audio or video.

Professional podcasters like Jack Spirko, Cliff Ravenscraft or professional radio hosts like Glenn Beck, Alex Jones or your local news host haven't got that problem. Sure it's because of their experience, but how do I get it and what can I do to become a more confident speaker?

Haha I also have the "self-correcting" problem.  I don't know what your background is but I think if you are more of the engineering/technology mindset you want to be correct when speaking.  So I will unintentionally go back and correct some tiny detail that I am sure no one cares about when I am talking.  Also I say words like "uh", "like", and "so" far too often.

What I do is just listen/watch my video or audio after I record it.  I can easily see what my latest problem is and plan to correct it next time.  A big one for me was to stop saying "uh" constantly -- it helps to have a plan of what you are going to say beforehand.  I don't rerecord the presentation though... I just publish it anyway.  I don't really care what anyone thinks about me, since I figure eventually I will get better with practice.

TechPreps

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Re: How can I be a great speaker?
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2012, 10:00:33 AM »
Being a new podcaster myself I understand how you feel. But I can say from my own experience that it does get easier. I've gone from  having to edit each episode heavily in the first few to basically having no edits in my last few and I've only done 12.

I was originally going to follow Jack's method and record in my car since I have a long commute but personally I can't focus on driving and podcasting at the same time. So now I do my recordings at home.

I also need at a minimum an outline to work from or I'll go off on a tangent that makes it difficult to get back on topic easily. I don't write out my podcasts word for word since I don't want it to sound like I'm reading from a book but right now my outlines are very extensive. (but they are getting shorter)

I felt the same way about it being easier if somebody was asking me questions and I keep that in mind when writing my outlines. I have questions in my outlines as headers and basically pretend like somebody just asked me that question. Obviously I can't speak like I'm actually answering a question that the listener didn't hear, but I have found that it helps.

And I know that nobody wants to hear it but .... "Practice!!" :D


UFAB

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Re: How can I be a great speaker?
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2012, 02:20:27 PM »
Someone asked this guy I know who has been public speaking for over 15 years about how to become a great speaker (and the guy is a great speaker). He suggested something that surprised me--read books OUT LOUD. He says that you will start to pick up the rhythm of the words and incorporate it. He also said you must love your subject, be enthusiastic about it, and want to teach it.

Raptor1

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Re: How can I be a great speaker?
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2012, 11:15:05 AM »
Some of this will be a reiteration of some great ideas already listed, but it's what I practice to hone these skills.


1. Always have some good skeleton notes to follow.  This will eliminate the blank spaces and allow you to move to new topics fluidly.  I personally use skeleton notes to remind me of the topic or specific ideas I want to cover, but I allow the "meat and guts" of that topic to fill naturally.  If I'm too scripted and reading off my notes, I will start to sound mechanical and have some of the same problems you discussed in your initial post.  I try to write notes that encourage me to speak from the "heart" rather than scripted notes.  Put another way, I want to find a balance between a script and free flow to make it sound natural. 

2. Use personal stories.  It's hard to read scripts, but if you're like me, telling a personal story gets me fired up, helps me connect with my listeners, and is much easier to free flow my speaking.  Like there is a good friend sitting right next to me while we cover this topic. 

3. Imagine your audience actually being there.  It helps for me to imagine being on stage talking to a group of people and combats that feeling that I'm talking to myself.  I really actually do this.

4. Imagine follow up questions.  I run a podcast on parenting and taking the stress out of having kiddos so I will respond to the questions that I get from audience members and then imagine what else they might subsequently ask.  For example if a question is asked about how to parent after divorce, I'll also cover the question "do I need to be nice to my ex" in anticipation that someone might want to know.  To the best of my ability I try to anticipate the question to give the recording a conversational feel.  Again, like 2 friends discussing the topic of choice. 

5. Consider a co-host.  Once a week my online friend Paul McGuire and I cohost Friday's episode.  There are multiple benefits to this, but to name a few: this might help emphasize your gift at speaking with someone else.  With Skype, it sounds like you are in the room recording with that person.  Check out Paul's and my latest episode on Lies Parents Tell for a few minutes to get a feel for how good it can sound.  Paul records from Alabama while I record from Texas.  You also don't have to carry the conversation all the time and you get a different personality on the mic.  Plus, you can share traffic if they already have a site as well. 

6. Don't be afraid to use the "Pause Recording" button.  For some reason there is a part of me that frowns when I do, but to be honest, I brain-fart from time to time moving from one topic to the next and I need that break to gather my thoughts without a huge latency period.  You can blend the pause and vocal intonation to make it seamless.  I know that radio operators/hosts don't get to, but I have to remind myself, "that's the beauty of a non-live podcast!"  Not using that feature would be like saying "well, motorcycles don't have cruise control, so I shouldn't use mine on my car."   :o

Let me know if you have any questions!


Trey



UFAB

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Re: How can I be a great speaker?
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2012, 05:31:05 PM »
There is also a book that Pat Flynn recommended called Stand and Deliver. I just started reading it now.