introduction to the fundamentals of public speaking course
note: this introduction is aimed at people who really don't like public speaking.
If you are resonably confident but want to get better at connectiing to your audience, being more conversational and more relaxed as a speaker take a look at my course on natural public speaking that I run for organisations or give me a ring on 01225 425300.
My public speaking courses look at the fundamental public speaking skills we need for being in front of people and dealing with what causes the fear.
There are not a lot of courses like mine around. May I quickly say I'm not trying to be arrogant - but really to point out the difference.
Most "presentation" courses are dealing with how to structure presentations - best use of powerpoint etc. They might include a little bit of how to handle fear - maybe by advocating "practice practice practice" or runnning on the spot or deep breathing or some relaxation techniques.
But on my courses we explore the fundamentals of being in front of people. Learning the new skills we need to be comfortable with everyone looking at us. Once we get comfortable being there and being able to look at people and feel calmer then we can think better, connect more and be more ourselves.
The new public speaking skills come from a re-think of how to see public speaking. To move away from the idea of performance to one of having a conversation.
But its not just that one idea - the course is made up of a series of small steps to help us see public speaking with different eyes. To re-think public speaking so that we make it simpler and more possible.
We can learn be present with people and be the centre of attention without worrying. I've been teaching this for over 12 years and now I run around 40 courses a year.
The answer is simpler than we think...
We tend to massively over-think public speaking. Our minds churn and churn worrying about an event that might be weeks away.
Facing and dealing with the fear is something we need to do straight away rather than over-prepare and hide behind technology.
We can learn to be the centre of attention, we can learn how to speak publicly in way that is easier, where we do less rather than more.
My courses are about creating as safe a place as possible to explore this - a place where you will be supported. And you will learn the fundamental skills of Public Speaking. The skills that are left out of most presentation courses for some strange reason. The whole course is about making more possible, making speaking more simple AND more effective.
"Very simple yet effective means of talking to audiences. Wish I’d known about this when I was younger."
It's really helpful to understand that there are some different skills and assumptions we need when we are in front of a group of people.
Part of that change is understanding the secret.....
It shouldn’t be a secret but it seems to be one.
Part of what we are scared of is being listened to and being looked at.
That might sound daft at first.
“No, its me being nervous that gets in the way” I hear you say.
Actually most of us can speak. Most of us know the stuff that we should be talking about.
But things happen when we stand in front of people. We are not used to seeing blank faces when we speak. We want reassurance but we get blank faces
And most of the audience just looks at you with a blank face.
That’s very different from a normal conversation where we get affirmed by smiles and "Uh-huhs".
Maybe two or three people in an audience nod and smile at us but if you just look at them for 20 minutes you will freak them out!
We assume those blank faces are judging us in some way.
We assume that people think we ARE "boring" or that in some way we will be "humiliated". So guess what?
We see people who look bored or find people who are judging us to confirm whats in our heads. That face looks bored so she must be bored.
We confirm what we are looking for.
Or “What we seek therefore is what we get”.
We don't assume support - we assume attack. Have a look at my 56 second video on this. You will need your sound up a little to hear the music.
We also tend to sweep the audience with our eyes rather than speaking to one person at a time.
Seeing public speaking as a series of one-to-one conversations is a powerful way of changing our view of the task. We need to be able to change and build that relationship between speaker and listener. And it’s the how we do that makes speaking circles different.
Speaking Circles® courses transform the way people communicate by focusing on the essential first step missing in conventional public speaking training — the connection between you the speaker and your listeners. Get that connection right then everything else becomes simpler.
Of course there are other factors around what stops us being ourselves but the course helps you to deal with those as part of our work.
Speaking circles® helps you deal with these issues by developing a way of connecting thats different. More neutral, more powerful and more space to be yourself.
And you need to experience it to understand it.
But once you’ve got it - its really empowering.
And it doesn’t feel like a secret any more.
In the course we also look at other things that get in the way. On a Public speaking course in Manchester recently one woman said at the end of the day "Now, I really can't understand why I worried about this (public speaking) for so long".
The introductory day workshop is just over six hours.
quotes from participants
A fantastic course which has given me a new perspective on things. A safe environment was created from the start and everyone was made to feel welcomed and accepted.
The course was absolutely brilliant. I wasn't expecting it to change other areas of my life but it has, The power of just being is profound. I've had a real shift in thought processes which is very empowering
The whole course was very well run, very powerful, completely different from anything I've done before. Felt very safe which is something I've never felt in a group before
Very simple yet effective means of talking to audiences. Wish I’d known about this when I was younger.
I liked how down to earth it was, how animated you were and how good you were at explaining emotions and situations. I loved it, what a great experience and it was exactly what I needed. I'm excited about the future now.
Thank you for a very effective course that has and will continue to help me be more comfortable in public speaking.
The course was open, interactive, upbeat, articulate, inclusive & supporting. Nice pace and content with a fair injection of humour and I loved it
Great Value as a course. In one day John shared a technique that really works and has transformed my confidence in connecting rapidly with the people I meet personally and professionally.