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Learning Public Speaking

In the past few weeks, I've been exploring the methodologies of public speaking that work for me. It takes a lot of trials and errors until I finally see some progresses. It would be good to share my thoughts and experiences so that people see my posts can have a more confident and effective start for public speaking.

Firstly of all, you need to overcome the fears to public speaking.  The common excuse I take is that I'm an introvert person. You have to be an extrovert person to master public speaking. However, that's not true. Public speaking is a skill, it can be trained and mastered. It may take some natural talents to be a super-influential speaker. But for a normal person to hit a point to deliver your messages clearly and powerfully, it's doable.

One of the inspiring talks I heard from an introvert speaker is Susan Cain's "The Power of Introverts". Susan says that introverts sometimes can deliver deeper thoughts than the extroverts.


Surprisingly, even the speaker who I believe one of the most skilful&talented speakers, Simon Sinek, claimed himself as an introvert as well. Another introvert speaker I personally like a lot is named 颜如晶, who's a Chinese speaker from Malaysia. She even has autism when she's young. But her arguments are so strong, logical and motivative in the internet talkshow 奇葩说.  Introverts can speak very well publicly.

Secondly, the right methodologies do help.  I tried a few times using my own way of writing scripts, reciting the scripts and then presenting. It works fine in delivering the slides information, but not motivating and inspiring enough for the audiences. Then I tried to seek helps from the speakers that I believe the most inspiring speakers.

One of the most useful sharing is from Simon Sinek, who shared the methodology in simple and precise words. One high level summary of "Starting from Why" and a more detailed 30mins course on Skillshare. If you don't want to watch the 30mins course, here is a summary of it: "7 Powerful Public Speaking Tips From One of the Most-Watched TED Talks Speakers"


The most memorable intake from his course is "Show up to give, not to take." I do find it super useful and important. People trust you as a giver, not a taker. In Simon's word, a giver is someone that "gives them value, that teaches them something new, that inspires them". I haven't finished his book, but should worth a read.





With the advises above, I think it would help you start public speaking more confidently.  The rest won't be that difficult.

Some might ask, is it applicable to speak in Chinese as well? I tried to speak both in English and Chinese. It seems that language doesn't matter that much. It's your thoughts and the way how you deliver your message that matters the most. The fundamental principles seem to be universal.  I try to find a great Chinese speaker that I can learn from. The following sharing from one of the best Chinese speakers 黄执中 hits the points.  His Key point is to be "简单,意外,具体". That is to say "simple, unexpected, and specific".



I'm still learning, hopefully I can improve quickly and share more with you in the future. I'm not afraid of public speaking any more. Hope you will also overcome your fears as well. Good luck!




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