[New Public Speaking Book]
How to Master the Fundamentals - Chapter 1
This is as much information from my book as I can give you...
...without making my publisher angry.
This page will teach you how to master the fundamentals of public speaking.
You'll gain a clear understanding of how to give a successful speech.
Let's dive right in.
Chapter 1 - How to Master the Fundamentals
Contents of This Chapter
Most Public Speaking Books
Here's the thing:
There are a lot of public speaking books out there. Most of them are wonderful. But almost all of them have one or more of these problems:
Long speech transcripts to teach a lesson that would have been teachable by just a small segment of the speech.
Very abstract lessons and truisms like “feel the room," “know your voice," or “be present," without any direction on how to do so.
Lengthy anecdotes from other speakers with little relevance to you.
Too much theory, and not enough specific techniques.
Too many specific techniques, and not enough theory.
Windy, unclear structure.
Narrative based writing.
Focused on writing a speech, but not delivering it, or the other way around.
Either too short, with missing information, or a public speaking textbook that is very expensive.
Maybe these don't seem like problems to you.
Sure, narrative writing might entertain you...
...and long speech examples might teach you lessons other than the one intended...
...and abstract concepts might give you an intuitive feel.
When I set out to write How to Master Public Speaking, I wanted to accomplish three things:
A clear structure that has brevity.
Complete and comprehensive: no missing information at all.
And my personal favorite:
NO USELESS ABSTRACTION. NO "FEEL THE ROOM."
Public speaking is a skill that can be learned, nurtured, and mastered because it is a skill that can be decomposed into simpler and simpler skills.
The natural follow up to this is that public speaking is not as abstract as some other resources make it out to be.
Even the most magical speeches, I believe, can be broken down into a set of powerful techniques and practices being used masterfully.
If you can learn and master the skills that fall under the broad umbrella of “public speaking," then you have mastered public speaking.
Congratulations. It's really that easy.
Introduction to This Book
Here's what this book is:
This book is a straightforward, in-depth, and all-encompassing guide to mastering public speaking.
It provides a broad range of information concisely and in an easy to read way.
This guide provides actionable public speaking knowledge, which you will be able to apply instantly.
Here's why I'm proud of this book:
You can read a section from this book five minutes before a speech, and then use it in that very same speech. It is actionable. Something most public speaking resources aren't.
Why Public Speaking is Important
Here's why public speaking is important:
All good ideas are energized by good presentation. The ability to inspire appreciation for an idea in others is what makes some ideas rise above the rest and truly have an impact on the world.
Just look at Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
What do they have in common?
They are all individuals who used their voices to inspire change.
The course of human history has been molded by determined individuals who harnessed their most powerful gift: their voices.
The voices of impassioned men and women are responsible for creating the world that we live in today.
Their ideas alone would not have created change...
... but there is nothing that can stand in the way of ideas that are given a voice.
So, harness yours.
What Will Public Speaking Do For You
What will public speaking not do for you?
Here's what public speaking will do for you:
Push your career forward.
Set you apart from otherwise similar people.
Help you achieve your goals.
Increase your chances of success.
Make you an advocate.
Unleash your confidence.
The list goes on... but you get the point.
The Positive Impacts on Your Career
Public speaking will help you find a job.
Don't believe me? Believe the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).
Here's what they found:
67.5% of employers seek public speaking and communication skills in potential employees.
67.5%. That's a lot.
In fact, it's more then these skills:
Strategic Planning Skills (39.3%)
Organizational Ability (48.7%)
Computer Skills (48.9%)
Technical Skills (59.8%)
And just as much as these skills:
Good question. Here's why:
Public speaking is a keystone skill.
Thus, all other skills become more useful when paired with public speaking.
In other words, public speaking enhances every other skill...
...and most other skills don't.
That is why.
What It Feels Like to Start
I'll be honest.
It is NERVE-WRACKING.
But it doesn't have to be.
What if someone who mastered public speaking took everything they wish they knew when they were starting, and put it all in a book?
That's exactly what I did.
It is nerve-wracking at first. People who are EXTREMELY confident at other things, like sports, or academia, find public speaking nerve-wracking.
People who aren't extremely confident find it even harder.
But it's wonderful:
Mastering public speaking does something special...
It builds confidence that spills over into other areas of life.
So it is nerve-wracking to start, but incredibly empowering to overcome those nerves.
What Does Public Speaking Entail
Public speaking is INCREDIBLY simple...
...if you start with one basic concept.
A concept that I call the public speaking triad.
Here it is:
Public speaking is building a 3 way connection between 3 things.
Here's why it's so simple:
Every other technique, piece of advice, or strategy, relates back to forming that 3 way connection.
Want to know what those 3 things are?
Well, the answer is in the book. Just know that you're one of them.
The Mental Frame
It all starts in the mind.
Success... or failure...
Your path as a public speaker...
All of it. It all starts in the mind.
Your mindset produces your reality. This truth is amplified for public speaking. So, the stakes are pretty high.
Just know this:
Developing the right mental frame isn't that hard.
In fact, if you know the difference between scarcity thoughts and abundance thoughts, it's very easy.
If you can spot your thought patterns and change them, public speaking becomes a breeze.
Because you have the proper mindset.
This is not abstract. In fact, it's very concrete. It's about winning the battle that happens in your mind before a public speech. It's about noticing the specific thoughts that almost all of us have, and mentally rewiring ourselves for success.
Seizing the Opportunities
There are opportunties everywhere to practice public speaking.
Each of these opportunties call for a different approach.
Want to master public speaking?
Here's what you do:
Seize every opportunity you have to speak publicly.
Every single one. And believe me, they are everywhere.
In fact, many situations we don't think of as public speeches actually are.
This section of the book helps you identify them and gives you guidelines for which ones you should take.
All of them.
Almost all of them.
Different Kinds of Public Speeches
Some people say there are up to 15 different types of speeches.
What's more overwhelming? That they all have their own individual set of guidelines and best practices for you to learn.
But don't worry:
The people who say there are 15 different types of speeches are...
There are 4.
To inform, persuade, inspire, or entertain. That's it.
Each of them are, at their most basic, constructions of the public speaking triad.
In other words, they all require you to construct the same 3-way connection.
But then why are they different?
Because how you construct that 3-way connection is different for each type of speech. You don't construct the triad in the same way for a speech to inspire as you do for a speech to entertain. They each require a special approach.
Speaking to Inform
The most common kind of speech!
I can't tell you how exactly to construct this triad here (that's what the book is for), but I will give you some necessary ingredients:
An interested audience (or one you make interested).
A knowledgable speaker.
An engaging speaker.
A speaker who cares about the topic.
A speaker with authority.
An unbiased exchange of information (or, more simply, honesty).
Put those into a pot, stir them up, and you have a successful informational speech.
But be warned:
As you're trying to stir those ingredients, you have to protect your pot from unwanted ingredients, such as:
An apathetic audience.
An irrelevent topic.
A speaker unfamiliar with public speaking techniques.
Luckily, there are many powerful techniques to protect your pot from these unwanted ingredients.
Apply those techniques, and your speech will be a massive success.
Speaking to Persuade
The most useful type of speech!
Mastering persuasive speeches gives you an awesome ability...
...the ability to make anyone see things your way.
But don't be fooled:
These speeches require A LOT of finnese.
Never, ever, be too aggressive. The "hard-sell" never works.
But we'll talk about that later.
For now, here are the wanted ingredients:
An audience with a need.
A speaker who can fulfill that need.
A speaker who is engaging, and doesn't try the "hard-sell."
A speaker who wants to persuade.
A trustworthy speaker.
A connection between problem and solution.
And the dreaded undesireables:
An audience with no need (or an audience unaware of their need).
A useless solution.
A speaker unable to build trust.
But don't dread the undesirables too much:
As with speeches to inform, there are easy techniques you can use to ensure success.
Speaking to Inspire
The speeches in the history books!
Inspirational speeches are seriously awesome. That's why so many of them are recorded in history. It's also why so many of them go social media viral.
Their sheer awesomeness make them seem hard to an onlooker.
They are just as easy as the other speeches.
But only with the right set of ingredients:
An audience with an area of improvement.
A speaker who can give the strength to achieve the improvement.
A speaker with MASSIVE conviction.
A speaker who deeply wants to inspire.
A passionate speaker.
A connection between an audience hope and the speaker's words.
I'll be honest. These speeches are fragile. The 3-way inspirational connection is often easy to break. They require one especially crucial ingredient; the most crucial ingredient, a speaker with passion.
Because a speaker with passion can prevent the unwanted ingredients:
An audience rejecting the area of improvement.
Words that do not inspire.
A speaker who cannot make the audience passionate.
A successful inspirational speech is often achieved by one single thing:
Speaking to Entertain
The speeches I'm worst at!
Don't worry, I worked with a speaker who is excellent at these. You're getting the best advice out there.
Here's what you want:
An audience in the mood to be entertained.
A speaker who knows how to be funny.
A speaker who understands the humor the audience prefers.
A speaker who enjoys giving a funny speech.
An energetic speaker.
A connection between the audience and the humor.
And here's what you don't want:
An audience which doesn't "feel" like laughing.
A speaker who doesn't understand what humor works on the audience.
A speaker who cares too much if the audience laughs.
These speeches are fun, but most of us will be giving the other three types.
Common Traits Uniting All Speeches
Sure... there are four different types of speeches...
Sure... they all require vastly different approaches...
But at the end of the day, they are all still speeches. Thus, there is a lot of similarity between them.
All speeches require an engaging speaker (so one who read this book).
All speeches require a topic relevant to the audience.
All speeches require a receptive audience (or a speaker who makes the audience receptive).
In one sentence:
All speeches require the construction of the same fundamental 3-way connection.
The stronger that connection, the better the speech.
A Speaker's Toolbox
You want to build something. (Let's say you want to build a triangular structure... see where I'm going with this?)
Which scenario seems best?
You don't know what tools exist. You don't even know there are tools. You have no idea there is a toolbox.
You know there are some tools, but you don't know how to use them, and you don't have them.
You know what tools exist, you know exactly how to use them, and you have them right there at your fingertips.
Scenario 3, right?
Public speaking is using a set of tools to construct a 3-way connection.
The three tools are:
Again, people will try to tell you there's more to it. And I keep telling you (and them) that there isn't.
This book goes into incredible depth. It's 252 pages and 80,093 words. And yet, all of public speaking can be summarized in one sentence:
Using your words, voice, and body to build a 3-way connection between ______, ______, and ______. (Sorry, I have to keep my magic formula somewhat secret... but I'm sure you've figured it out by now).
Or, in one more simple sentence: using a toolbox to connect three things.
Every other complex part of public speaking you will learn if you buy the book is just a part of the toolbox; just a tool to construct the connection.
S-pattern eye-contact, parrallellism, reciprocity, time-assertations, breaking-rapport tonality, strategic modulation, the gesture-box, inclusive pronouns, kairos, sententia, the informational-motivated sequence, etc...
...are all just tools... to build the most powerful human connection possible.
Most speakers are in scenarioes 1 or 2. In other words, they're lost. And that's why it seems so difficult to them.
But not you!
You can be on level 3 if you want to be...
...because you can use this book to uncover the entire toolbox; to put it right at your fingertips.
I'll just quote straight from this section in the book:
1. "Use of Voice
The most obvious aspect of effective public speaking is, well, speaking. To maximize the impact of your voice when you speak publicly, make sure to project it so that everyone can hear you. Make sure to emphasize words to grant your speech a more vivid message, and to use dramatic pauses. Modulate your talking pace according to the effect you want to have on your audience, and make sure you choose a specific and deliberate tone. Avoid repetitive verbal patterns. Speak with the proper vocal tonality so that the subconscious impact of your words is maximized. Perform vocal exercises before you speak to warm up your voice.
2. Use of Body
Using your body to help you convey your message and engage your audience is a facet of effective public speaking often overlooked. Stand with a confident posture, and make eye contact with your audience. Use gestures when appropriate in such a way that your message is emphasized, and move across the stage to engage different sides of the audience as your speech progresses. Lastly, use facial expressions that match the sentiment of your words.
3. Use of Words
While your words are certainly a crucial part of a speech, good words alone will not convince an audience if they are not delivered well. In fact, it’s very possible (and common) for a speaker to convince an audience of an idea that they wouldn’t agree with if they came across the idea in written form. Why? Because of the way the speaker is speaking. It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it. That’s one of the fundamental principles of effective public speaking."
I'll quote straight from the book again:
"In life, it’s very important to know exactly what you want from an endeavor. That rule certainly applies to public speaking. It’s important to have a clear picture of what you want to achieve with your speech. It’s critical that you know whether you want to inform, persuade, inspire, entertain, or do more than one of those. Determine clearly which public speaking triad you want to construct, and have a plan to do so.
True public speaking mastery comes down to one thing. If you take only one idea from the background section of the book to form your base of knowledge for the rest of it, let it be this: to succeed as a public speaker, connect yourself to your audience. Then, connect your audience to the idea. Then, connect yourself to the idea. Then use that connection to accomplish amazing things.
There’s a complex toolbox which you recently just glimpsed in the “your three tools” section that will be uncovered for you in greater depth throughout the book. Just remember the fundamental principle of effective public speaking, the three-way connection, as you read further. That’s what it all comes down to."
Why do just one thing when you can do two, three, or even four?
Because it's usually easier; because if you do just one, you can usually do it extremely well.
And sometimes, exceeding at one thing is better than just passing at four. But not always.
Let's say you're a climatologist (I use a climatologist giving a speech as an example throughout the book), and you want to maximize the real-world impact of your speech.
Maximizing the real-world impact.
What do you do? Do you just inform the audience of findings? Or, do you go beyond that?
You could do this:
First, inform on findings. Construct an informational public speaking triad. Avoid the undesirable ingredients, and include the desired ones. That's easy.
So far, the audience is simply more aware of climate change. Does that directly translate into a real world impact? It might.
But what if you first informed, then constructed an inspirational triad? Now the audience is not only aware, but willing to make positive changes. Now the audience will probably change their daily habits to be more climate friendly. Wonderful.
See how layering two public speaking triads on top of each other produces more real-world impact?
You could then move into a persuasive triad, selling a book on how to be more climate friendly.
Let's compare real-world impacts:
Informational alone produced an aware audience.
Informational and inspirational produced an aware audience that is also inspired to change daily habits.
Informational, inspirational, and persuasive produced the above, and through sales of the book, funded future climate research.
Do multiple triads always produce the best results? Not if quality is sacrificed for quantity.
But it's okay:
The book prevents that from happening.