There are many misconceptions about how to speak effectively to an audience. People look for formulas and rules to follow with the belief that public speaking is a mechanical process. It’s not. It’s a human process. Other people think they could never become a public speaker-they just have no talent. While exceptional speakers usually do have a real talent for it, this doesn’t mean that we all can’t give a speech that will engage our audience and be a personally rewarding experience at the same time.
The more you hold onto old-and often misguided-beliefs about public speaking, the less effective you’ll be on the platform. You must go in with an open mind and, in some cases, work to change your thinking about giving presentations.
With that in mind, here are ten of the most common myths about public speaking-along with some food for thought to help you dispel the myths in your own mind.
1. I’m not a public speaker. Wrong. Everyone is a public speaker. Every time you speak at a staff meeting, you’re speaking in public. Anytime you stand up and introduce yourself at an association meeting, you’re giving a presentation. The waiter who recites the specials of the day is presenting. When you complain to the customer service department or go on a job interview, you’re presenting yourself. (more…)