Myths _ Facts About Public Speaking.txt

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There are so many myths and facts about public speaking. This time you will get a chance to read
the ten most common facts and myths about making a speech. This list will help you in your next
presentation. If you are scheduled to make a speech for your company or non profit organization,
read this list first.


Public Speaking is a form of Art

Public Speaking has been embedded into the corporate world for so many years now that it has
stopped being a form of Art. The problem is that many speakers treat public speaking as a form of
art and focus more on making their speech "look great," and forget to be effective speakers.

It Comes with a "Magic pill"

The "Magic Pill" may not come in the form of an actual pill, but it certainly comes in the form of a
book, a training cd or an expensive seminar. Many trained speakers take advantage of those who
are just getting started in public speaking by selling them products that promise to reveal "the
secret of public speaking." There is no such thing as SECRETS of public speaking. Everything is
pretty much out there already.

Comes with a standing ovation/ applause

Some speakers feel that a speech will always be followed by a long applause and a standing
ovation. Especially if this speech includes an exciting topic that promises to get others just as
excited. Reality teaches us that most speeches are conducted in the work place or are work-
related. And these speeches are mostly informative speeches. Some of the topics can be so
boring that it should be the speaker who claps every now and then just to keep the audience

Requires visual aides

Many speakers depend too much on their visual aids the same way we depend on our smart
phones today. Visual aides are not required during a speech. A speech is designed to inform an
audience. The only time visual aides should be considered is when a special topic during the
speech requires a visual demonstration. At this point a flash card or a power point slide may help.
The problem with many speakers is that they become dependent of visual aides to convey their
It is easy or difficult

This is a common myth about public speaking. The truth is that public speaking is a simple form of
communication. It only requires a person to verbally inform others about a specific topic. Those
who consider it "easy" may have a lot of experience speaking in public, but still some topics of
discussion may be challenging for them. Those who may consider it difficult may not have enough
experience and may not know how to be well prepared when it is time to make their speech. It is
the topic of discussion and how well informed we are about this specific topic that may make a
speech difficult or easy.

It requires a large audience

Many speakers get well-prepared and are ready to make a speech but are affected by the size of
the audience. Just as some people are afraid of speaking before a large audience, there are
others that do not perform well with small audiences. It may have something to do with their own
expectations or ego. The truth is that a speech does not require a large audience. Even one
person in the audience is enough to deliver a great speech.

No questions are allowed during the presentation

I have been to so many speeches where the speaker "sets the rules" at the beginning of the
presentation. "Please hold your questions until the end of the presentation." Good luck with that.
The purpose of a speech is simply to inform. When an audience member has a question, I usually
consider that as great news! This means that he/she is interested but stuck on a question. What
many don't realize is that questions during a speech are very important. It let's that audience
member (and any other member who may have the same question, but is too embarrassed to ask
in front of an audience) register this information, clear any doubts and prepare for the rest of the
speaker's information. Not letting some questions asked during a speech is a BIG MISTAKE!

Should start with a joke

If you are funny, go for it! If not, careful. Comedy is more than just telling a joke. Speakers attempt
this in an effort to break the ice. The most important part of a joke, besides the set up, is the
PUNCH LINE and if the speaker fails to deliver a good punch line, tragedy and silence will follow.
Not a great way to start a presentation.

Must be short and to the point

K.I.S.S. Keep It Short and Simple. A common acronym used to help move things forward. Not in
this case. A speech should be as long as it takes, but not as long as you want to. The time frame
for a good speech is based on the topic being discussed.

Requires a podium and a microphone

I have seen speakers remain in one area whenever there is no podium around. And when it
comes to a microphone...forget it! They are horrible. For some reason some speakers believe that
a speech should always be delivered from a podium and with the help of a microphone. A speech
is a simple form of communication that requires at least one audience member present to deliver
the information. Anything else is extra not the norm.

Bonus: Public Speaking pays well

I have seen many sites that make promises of great careers as professional speakers...the truth is
that people don't care about the speaker as much as they care about the information. People don't
get paid for a speech simply because they are professional speakers. They get paid because they
have important information to deliver. Some information is more important that other, and this is
what determines the pay rate.


It requires a listener or listeners

A speech needs no more than one audience member to makes its delivery.

Requires a topic

Sometimes speakers focus too much on their own delivery, voice projection and anything else that
involves them as a speaker and forget to focus on the details of their topic. A speech requires a
topic that it is clear and specific.

Must include a goal

Every speech must include a goal so that the audience may understand the purpose of the
presentation. The speaker should also have a personal goal before, during, and after each

Must allow feedback

Many speakers make the mistake of delivering speeches without the support of their audience. An
audience may help you make your next speech better if you only let them tell you what they liked
or disliked about your speech and/or topics.

Requires preparation/natural practice

It is obvious that a well prepared speaker will deliver a great speech. Taking every opportunity to
speak in public helps as well.

Must answer questions during speech

Don't be the speaker who declares "please hold your questions until the end of the presentation"
at the beginning of your speech. Answering questions during a presentation can help move things

Must offer an avenue to follow up

A great speaker accepts the fact that there may still be some questions to be answered. A speaker
should lead the audience to a location where these and other questions may be answered. Today,
you may use a specific webpage from your website to make this happen. At the end of each
presentation, the speaker should take the time to provide this information to the audience, along
with contact information (email, phone number, etc).

Must be as long as it takes but not as long as you want to

A speech addresses a topic or a set of important topics. This is why each one should have its own
time frame. An effective speech may not necessarily need a short or limited time frame. There are
two types of speakers that tend to prolong a speech: Emotional Speaker and the Expert Speaker.
The Emotional Speaker will take long pauses to try to hold the tears back and will extend the
conversation by addressing personal comments. The Expert Speaker has a lot of information and
he/she tends to provide too many details on any given topic, extending the presentation

Must offer a break or a breather

Allowing a short break during your presentation lets the audience register your information. Then,
you may continue with the rest of the presentation. Sometimes, pausing and asking the audience
for any questions that they may have, helps quite a bit. Asking non relevant questions to the
audience, tends to help as well.

Must communicate a message (inform/Motivate/Stimulate)

A speech should motivate the audience to take action. And it needs to deliver an important
message all the time. Every speech, even if it's categorized as informative, should be proactive.

Bonus: With time, may turn speaker into a great speaker or worse speaker

Public Speaking can turn a speaker into a GREAT Speaker or a HORRIBLE Speaker. It all
depends if the speaker continues to practice and doesn't forget about the basics of public
speaking. Some speakers will become egotistical, thinking that they've got the whole industry
figured out (ie: Experts and Speech Coaches). These type of speakers don't even bother to let the
audience participate by asking questions during a speech.

Public Speaking is an important part of our every day lives. We must practice it each day and use
it in every opportunity possible.

Visit me at for more information about this article and other questions that you
may have about communications in general. It is all free or email directly at

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