3 Mindsets of an Exceptional Public Speaker

Public speaking has evolved since standing behind a podium was the norm. Now, storytelling and authenticity are the most appreciated form of public speaking. How can people speak intelligently for hours, seemingly off the cuff? Here are 3 mindsets to understand in order to become exponentially better at public speaking.

1. The Authenticity Spiral

The authenticity spiral is the path you must take to become an exceptional public speaker. You want to master speaking tools so they aren't using you. You must be the most authentic version of yourself, but masterfully. Learn all of these speaking tools extensively, and then don't think about them and just be yourself.

This is what the authenticity spiral looks like. You start at the lower point, being your most authentic self. Then, you learn all the skills, following the line. If you stop at the bottom, that's where you are letting the tools use you. You want to keep studying all the way until you reach the top, where you are back to being your authentic self, but more of an expert.

2. Nerves and jitters Are Different

Know the difference between nerves and jitters. You are nervous before your speech because a part of you feels like you aren't prepared. Jitters disappear after a minute or two and are caused by the environment you are in.

Jitters are pretty natural and aren't necessarily bad, but repeating a speech in the same place can help diminish them. Nervousness has much more to do with practice. Most people grossly underestimate how much practice it takes so that you feel 100% prepared.

The nerves go away once you can say your speech blindfolded, spinning around, in front of anyone in the world. Practice it 100 times. When you are that confident, the nerves go away.

3. Use these Speaking Tools

  1. Silence

Silence can feel awful if you are trapped by it, but it's a really powerful tool if you are using it intentionally. Don't be afraid to use silence in your speech, it is actually more stressful for your audience without it.

If you want to utilize a power pause at the beginning of your speech, try this: take 10 seconds when you get to the podium and recite your opening line in your head while staring into the eyes of one of the audience members.

2. Pacing and speed

Build excitement with a fast pace or touch souls with a slower, more suspenseful pace.

3. Tone and pitch

Alternate between bringing your voice high and low. There's no need to be monotone or excited all the time, because if you are, your audience will turn down their ears.

4. Audience interaction

If you don't interact with your audience, they will interact on their own and won't pay attention to you. Be on the offense.

5. Slides and materials

Slides work for some people, but you want to make sure you don't become a caption for your slides. Keep them simple.

This post is in relation to Alex Banayan's Third Door Mentor Sessions.

Topic for Thursday 6/25: Liberation

You can find posts on past mentor sessions, as well as sign up to get weekly recaps here.

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