Quite often, I will have people explain to me that they are “very comfortable” public speaking, therefore they claim they don’t need any training. This is nonsense. That makes as much sense as me saying “I’m comfortable in my old bathrobe, so I don’t need a Tuxedo to present at the Academy Awards.”
Of course it is bad to be nervous or uncomfortable as a speaker. And, sure, it is preferable to be comfortable when you speak. But being comfortable is only the first step.
Here is the issue many speakers never grapple with: It’s entirely possible to be a comfortable speaker and still be boring, tedious, and unmemorable. And if that is the case, why does it matter if you were “comfortable” in the process of failing?
The goal of any speaker should be to communicate messages in an understandable and memorable way, and then, only incidentally, appear comfortable and confident to the audience. So if you are one of these speakers who thinks you are fine because you are comfortable when speaking, I’d beg you to stop just thinking about yourself and instead, focus on your audience.
If you want to know if your presentation was successful then ask your audience. But don’t just ask “Did you like my speech?” Instead, you must ask audience members what messages they remembered, what slides they remembered and how would they summarize your speech to a colleague who couldn’t attend?
The answers to those questions will tell you if you were successful or not and whether you need more public speaking training.
If you are interested in receiving public speaking training, please call be at +1.212.764.4955. TJ Walker