Public speaking is a skill that people can learn, and not a talent from birth. Because of this, it is possible for anyone who is willing to learn to become great at public speaking.
But, as it is with almost all things in life, it’s a little bit of both. On one hand, there is no real denying the fact that certain people are just naturally better speakers than others and thus appear to have a talent for public speaking. However, this does not mean that public speaking is something that can’t be learned and mastered.
Even though public speaking is not taught in schools very often, almost everyone has to do it at some point in their lives. Whether you’re giving an important presentation at work or standing up to give a toast at your best friend’s wedding, practice is what really makes the difference with public speaking.
What Makes Public Speaking a Skill?
On the surface, it may appear to be relatively straightforward. After all, there are only so many things that someone could do while speaking in public. This is not true at all because public speaking is an art form of communication and thus can have a wide range of components that come into play to do it well.
For example, did you know that there are different types of public speaking? There is persuasive speaking, informative speaking, demonstrative speaking, and narrative speaking. There are things that make each of these types unique from one another.
When someone speaks to an audience, they essentially work with their own internal energy and transfer it to the audience members. If this energy does not resonate with people somehow, chances are they won’t be engaged for very long.
Another thing that makes public speaking a skill is understanding the dynamics of a given situation. This includes not just knowing what you want to say, but more importantly, it means correctly reading your audience and making sure that they can keep up with everything you’re saying.
Public speaking is both a talent and an experience-based skill. It can be perfected with practice. And yes, it requires the use of many different skills to succeed, so it’s clear that there are things you have to learn to do it well.
So keep practicing your skills – you’ll get better every time!
Why Do Some People Think Public Speaking is a Talent?
There are several reasons why some people find this to be a talent. Different personality types find it easier to start with, while others need to put in more effort.
For example, a reserved type of personality would consider public speaking to be their personal nightmare. They know that they are not comfortable with it, and thus they do not enjoy doing it. On the other hand, Outgoing personalities thrive on being able to talk in front of an audience because it is something they love to do. It comes naturally to them.
Another reason may be that some people are just naturally gifted with excellent communication skills. They find it easy to express themselves and understand the needs of their audience very quickly. This allows them to become natural speakers that can move and influence others without even trying.
There are indeed some people who are naturally gifted at storytelling, which does make it appear as if they’re talented and others aren’t. But as we all know, whatever people perceive as talent and a natural gift is ultimately just a skill that can be learned and mastered with practice.
Which Personality Types Are Naturally Best at Public Speaking?
Knowing how to speak in front of others isn’t something that’s necessarily reserved for the extroverted, outgoing type. Many introverts are great public speakers as well because they come prepared with what they want to say and are very comfortable with the silence onstage. The biggest difference between an outgoing personality and an introvert is that the former may need to prepare a bit more.
Still, certain personality types are more naturally gifted at public speaking than others.
ENTJs know how to handle an audience well, making them good for public speaking. ENTJs are comfortable in front of a large audience and often don’t become uneasy once they have the floor. They are very animated with a great flare and often effectively gather a big audience.
ESTJs also tend to be very comfortable in front of a large group. They know how to get the message across because they are good at organizing and communicating. ESTJs can create an image that will leave people with a lasting impression while making it easy for everyone to follow along.
ISFJ personalities don’t mind public speaking. It’s something that they find mildly comfortable because it isn’t too challenging for them to do. They know what they want to say and how they can make it appealing to their audience. ISFJs can mix in some humor and show great organizational skills, all the while keeping people on the same page as them.
ESFJ personalities are also very good at communicating. They are warm and inviting, which is just what people need to feel comfortable around them. ESFJs know how to get their message across to others without being too intense or overwhelming. Their methods are effective for any type of audience, making them great public speakers as well.
It is true that not all personality types can be successful public speakers, but anyone could learn to become one with the right amount of practice put in.
Go here if you want to learn more about which personality types are great public speakers.
Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking
Public speaking is considered one of the most dreaded activities that people have to do. It can be a very stressful and nerve-wracking moment for many people. If you are someone who’s never had to speak in public, it can be challenging to overcome the fear of speaking in public.
The truth is, it’s easier than you think! Overthinking probably contributes the most towards the fear of public speaking. Allowing yourself to get lost in your thoughts is very easy and is something that is done without us even knowing it.
One way to overcome the fear of public speaking is to practice what you want to say beforehand. For both absolute beginners and those who are somewhat experienced when it comes to public speaking, practicing is essential. In fact, it is one of the most important tips when speaking in public.
Also, you can try doing things that help you relax, such as going for a walk, meditating for a few minutes, or just having a nice cup of coffee.
Public Speaking Tips for Beginners
Public speaking is not an easy task, so to further help you understand how to learn the skills of public speaking, below is a list of tips for beginners that you can follow.
- Look at your audience when you’re speaking – As is the case with any other skill, it is vital to look and see if what you did was correct—looking at your audience while speaking can help you gauge their level of interest, which is important for the overall success of your speech.
- Avoid a monotone voice – This is a common mistake made by inexperienced speakers. If you want to be an excellent public speaker, it is best to avoid using the same tone throughout your speech, as this can be very boring and tedious to listen to.
- If you make a mistake or mispronounce something, don’t stop – While it is important to pay attention to the present moment, some errors do happen, and they can be big or small. Regardless of how big your mistakes are, it is extremely important not to let them get the best of you. Just acknowledge it, make a quick joke about it (if appropriate) and keep going with your speech without stopping.
- Try not to use notes – Speaking is about connecting with your audience, so try to use notes as little as possible during your speech. It is very important for speakers to connect with their audience members on a personal level, and this is something that is easier accomplished if you are speaking from the heart instead of reading off a paper.
Public Speaking is not easy because speakers need to feel confident and relaxed at the same time. You need to speak loud and clear, be able to change your tone of voice, and use different gestures. Even though the truth is that it is very hard for people who are just starting their career as speakers to confidently deliver a speech in public, there is hope because, with enough practice and patience, you can definitely improve the quality of your speech.
How to Become a More Dynamic Speaker
Being a dynamic speaker requires you to be more than just a good speaker. You need to be able to engage your audience, make them feel like they are part of the conversation, and keep them interested and engaged.
Becoming a dynamic speaker is not easy. It takes time and practice before you can get it right. But there are some things that will help you become better at it. You should always try to speak with passion about what you are talking about. And when speaking in front of an audience, try to naturally incorporate your facial expressions, gestures, and body language into the speech as well.
Also, one thing that is really important is to keep your speech relevant and exciting. This is not something that can be easily done but is definitely very necessary for good public speaking. By keeping the speech relevant and interesting, you will be able to engage your audience much better than if you merely read off a bunch of facts and figures from a piece of paper or presentation.
In order to be a better speaker, you need to have some knowledge of the topic that is being communicated. Being able to speak is only half the battle. You still need to be able to give relevant information otherwise, your speech is going to fall flat and will not do well in engaging the audience.
And lastly, having clear objectives is also very important. You should know what you are trying to accomplish with the speech and how you plan to go about doing it. Then you can just discuss relevant material that will help achieve your objective(s).
To conclude, is public speaking considered a skill? To the naysayers, it is not a skill rather a gift that only a few chosen people possess. But for those who believe that public speaking is indeed a skill, it is a combination of confidence and courage in what you speak and share with the world and is something that you need to put continued practice and dedication into self-improvement.
You can’t learn everything from reading. You need to get out there and do it yourself!