Suck At Public Speaking? You're Not Alone
- 4 Posts
- Age 16
Ask me to write a novella in less than a week and I'll have a rough draft given to you a day before the due date. On the contrary, ask me to give a one-minute speech to a group of kids and listen to my filler words make up about 90% of the content.
Maybe it's just me, maybe it's not, but I know that this concern wouldn't have been a concern if people were able to articulate their thoughts in a crystal clear manner.
Either you are able to express your thoughts with maximum clarity or, like me, you can't get a sentence out without having to pause and think about what you were initially talking about. So what's the deal? Is it lack of sleep? Is it the environment we're growing up in? What is it?
Generally speaking, I would consider our education system to play a role in our ability to articulate. I do understand that there are some schools and courses that encourage speaking up about certain issues or topics that may try to enhance the fluency of many students. But, I find it to be annoying that students are forced to be fed this information into their brains and be expected to spit it out for an examination and never gain any nutritional value from it.
Quite literally, the other day I found myself wanting to look at the answer sheet for a super simple question that I knew the answer to just so I could copy it and follow the exact way they wrote it in the textbook to gain extra points on a future test. Wrong. Where is the learning? Where is the willingness to think about these application questions? I'm going crazy.
How does it correlate with public speaking? Being force-fed all this information is encouraging us to not ask questions at all. Is that what we want to look forward to? A world who doesn't think of solutions, but just leaches off from others because they want to be 100% correct in what they say so no one can dock marks off of them?
Solutions? Now, changing the education system would be controversial as that's a topic for another day. But, improving the way you articulate yourself? Let's break it down together:
Ask yourself why you can't articulate your thoughts. What's stopping you? Is it because you forget your information? Are you unprepared? Or do you feel that public speaking is frightening? Figure out what the root problem is. There was a wall in my elementary class that said: "dig at the roots instead of just hacking at the leaves" (Anthony J D'Angelo).
Another point to think about: do you want to solve this problem? The path in which our world is on looks up to those who can present themselves with their words and win the hearts of others. It's beneficial to know that public speaking will be an essential asset in your future. The way you present yourself to someone else plays an important role in how you'll represent your future self.
Key idea: how can you involve yourself in public speaking initiatives? Join a debate/MUN/mock trial club? Start one? Volunteer?
Now public speaking will probably never be my best quality, comparing myself to those who are as rhythmic with words as Beethoven was with music. But if I find a way to involve myself with other people, I'll not only be learning to speak more often, I'll be learning new things and connecting with people who have similar ideas.
So my main idea: Find your voice. Whether it be a small step (by joining a club or simply giving that one-minute presentation on whatever it may be) or a big one,(being the executive member of a club primarily focused on public speaking) Don't let anyone's judgements cloud your thoughts.
Don't think too much before doing anything. Just speak. Because once you start, you won't stop.