When you ask your friends how they approach a speech, you usually enter a world of self-made rules. “I always start immediately with a joke, and then I get on with what I want to say.” Another says: “You better start by thanking everyone, then you can’t forget that anymore”. Or: “You just have to start man, otherwise it will all be way too ceremonial.”
These emergency rules are the crutches of inexperienced speakers, formulated by themselves after their first adventures on stage. Most importantly: rules that are focused on survival and not on success. Therefor it’s a shame that almost nobody knows: successful presenting is just like cycling. Similarly you only have to learn it once. After that you’ll be self supporting, improving your skills by doing.
Sooner or later you’ll have to go for it. Then you stand at your sister’s wedding. Or a colleague’s funeral. Subsequently hundreds of people will be sitting in front of you, and you will speak. Whether it’s for work, for the community or for your family, you can’t ignore it. Fortunately, only 25% of people panic at the thought of having to present before a crowd. And the other part – the majority – doesn’t like it either, but is willing to give it a try. In other words there is no emergency exit for the current generation. You cannot come along without presenting skills.
Something super funny
Let’s be honest, what does it actually mean? You just step on that stage and tell those people something exciting, something super funny. Or something new, something they have never seen or experienced before. That is what presenting on stage is about. If you have no idea what you should say on that stage … then I have only one advice: don’t do it.
But you can’t get away with it that easily. When applying for a job, often a recorded video is required, to get an impression of your skills in presentation. If you do not participate, that job is not for you. Recently I walked the dog, and suddenly there was a local TV station with a running camera in front of me. Asking: ‘what do you think about the current parking policy?’ To clarify, this world demands that every sensible person can express themselves in terms of content.
It works with everyone
The younger generations are more familiar with public speaking. They were already on stage regularly during high school. But even then you still have no control over the phenomenon of speech. While it is easier than writing. Or driving a car. Presenting is just like cycling. If you can do it, you will never forget it again. And if you don’t take that effort, it will always feel like cycling with training wheels. Whoever takes it serious, has mastered the strategy within a week. And will always know how to handle public speaking. Subsequently if you go from that point on stage every month, you will automatically become a very good speaker. That’s how it works. And it works with everyone. Nobody excepted.