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Friday, 30 November 2012
Thank You Very Much, Mr. Roboto
Many people try to adhere to rules about proper professional speaking, how to stand, how to speak etc. Nonetheless, you should remember that the essence of public speaking is that you bring energy to a presentation that is simply not possible with a written document.
You can study all the public speaking tips available (and there are many!), but, in cultivating a polished speaking demeanour, you should not lose your individual style. We enjoy speakers with charisma and find that great speakers are those who can allow their personalities to enhance their words. We naturally tune out monotonous, robotic speakers. This must surely be a part of the reason why computer voices (like GPS systems etc.) have been vastly improved to sound more ‘human’ and less ‘robotic.’ We prefer to listen to a voice that has a less predictable, more interesting quality.
Imagine the most poignant speeches in your own memory. You may be recalling Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, Churchill, Trudeau, Queen Elizabeth II, for example. Maybe what came to mind is a particularly excellent wedding toast by a friend or family member. Certainly, though, the speech that you remember as having such an impact on you was delivered with strong character.
The “great” historical speeches can be recalled not only because of their important messages, but because of the speaker who delivered them. When we recall “I have a dream” we vividly bring to mind Dr. King’s eloquent, powerful manner of delivering the epic speech. His unique energy brought the words to life and therefore they resonate in the memories of everyone who has ever heard the speech.
Similarly, although you can improve your public speaking skills through learning proper techniques and avoiding certain pitfalls, don’t lose your own unique expressional qualities. The impact that you have on your audience will be greatly enhanced when your personality is woven throughout your presentation.