1 & 3: NEVER Wing It

Never wing it1: NEVER wing it when you speak in public.

When you “wing it,” you set yourself up for feeling anxious

One of the best ways to deal with the nervousness many people feel before speaking is to prepare thoroughly. Otherwise, when you stand in front of a roomful of faces you have two problems. One, you have to deal with all that attention directed at you. Two, which is unnecessary if you prepare ahead of time, you have to come up with something to say.

If you “wing it,” you’re more likely to go off on tangents

When you decide to say whatever comes into your head, you may find yourself telling stories about events and experiences that have nothing to do with your topic.

Should you “wing it,” you run the risk of forgetting what you mean to say

Even Sir Winston Churchill, one of the world’s greatest orators who led the Allied Forces to victory during World War II, learned to never wing it. He stopped improvising his speeches after he went totally blank at an event (from Churchill by Paul Johnson).

Instead of “winging it” do this:

  1. Write down the main points of your speech. Keep them before you. That way, you can glance down at your notes occasionally to jog your memory and keep you on topic.
  2. To feel much more comfortable in front of your audience, practice your speech a number of times beforehand.
  3. When you practice your speech, revise it so that your speech fits into the time allotted. Also, by saying your speech out loud, you’ll discover what you need to add or discard. This won’t be as apparent when you simply prepare the speech on paper or in your head.

Of course, occasionally you will have to give a speech without preparation. One experience comes to mind. A wonderful woman who had organized numerous of my events invited a gathering of people to her home to meet me. I sat in a corner of her living room, which had chairs jammed around its perimeter. In this situation, I felt that a formal previously-rehearsed speech would not work.

“What should I talk about?” I asked her.

“Just tell them a bit about your experiences in Yucatan,” she said, “and then they can ask questions.”

They asked many questions.  Bought many books. And, we all had a good time!

However, most of the time, I enjoy presenting one of my prepared, previously-rehearsed speeches.

Public Speaking Course Online

To learn an easy, quick way to prepare your speech, get Carol Chapman’s “Speak and Sell Books” online video course at: CarolChapmanLive.com/Speak.

Carol Chapman

Carol Chapman is an author, inspirational speaker, and the creator of the online course, "Speak and Sell Books." As a speaker, she talks at weekend retreats, day-long events, and half-day programs. Her seminars are not only informative and transformational but also fun and entertaining. They often include participatory workshops and visual aids, such as videos and photographs. She specializes in dream interpretation, reincarnation, and Atlantis, and how to sell books while speaking. Formerly a photojournalist under contract to NASA, her photographs have appeared in magazines and newspapers throughout the world. She is the author of When We Were Gods, Arrival of the Gods in Egypt, Have Your Heart’s Desire, and the forthcoming Kindle series, "Public Speaking Tips for Authors."

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