Busting the Myth About Public Speaking and Presentations

If you were planning on running a marathon, you wouldn’t think that the fact that you have been walking since you were a toddler meant that you had all the experience and training that you needed. Should one of your friends have that attitude, they would quite obviously be gasping for air and suffering from muscle cramps after only a short distance but you certainly wouldn’t consider them to simply be “naturally ” bad at running. Instead you would advise them that long distance running is a skill that requires training and practice if you are to be successful.

And yet, many people hold exactly this attitude about public speaking and presentation skills. They do not see the point in seeking public speaking training or presentation training and coaching, because they do not see how it could do any good. They believe that talking is the same as speaking in public, and that one poor showing means that they simply do not have the talent. This is as ridiculous as the analogy above. There are of course some people who have a particular innate talent for public speaking in the same way that some people are naturally athletic, but all successful public speakers and presenters have had hours of presentation training and coaching in order to become as accomplished as they are.

Any fears that you might have about speaking in public or giving presentations are perfectly natural – it is unlikely that you have had the levels of presentation training and coaching that the professionals have had, so of course it seems absurd to you that you could ever perform at that level. However, this barrier is one that can easily be overcome once you realise that speaking in public is a skill like any other, and like other skills you will need to practice and train if you are to reach your potential. This knowledge allows you to understand your current level of ability as not a “natural” incapability or innate lack of talent. Instead, you are simply untrained.

With proper presentation training and coaching, you can easily become an accomplished presenter or public speaker. Successful public speakers make the entire process seem effortless as they deliver an entire presentation without notes and with panache and style. However, it is this very element of public speaking that requires the most amount of effort. These speakers will have spent serious amounts of time preparing their presentation, training and coaching themselves not to forget any of their planned turns of phrase or body language.

The next time you begin to worry about speaking in public or making presentations, take a step back and consider how much of this worry is based on the myth that successful public speakers are simply innately talented. You will find that a little presentation training and coaching will show you just how untrue that is.

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