Somewhere along the way, I heard that public speaking is the greatest fear that most people encounter. In fact, public speaking for most people is more fearful than death. That led someone to say that if you had the choice of dying or doing the eulogy for someone, you would choose to be the one in the coffin!
A few weeks ago, I published a post entitled “Tips for Becoming A Better Public Speaker.” I was amazed at the interest of people. It is one of my most popular posts. Many of us are obviously interested in learning to speak better. You can read the post here: http://waylonbailey.com/2011/08/tips-for-becoming-a-better-public-speaker/.
Public speaking certainly is fearful. I experience it myself. I think that most people would be amazed to know the stress that seasoned preachers and speakers experience as they get ready to speak to people.
In order to get better at public speaking, you have to have a plan. Over the next few weeks I will publish a series of posts about learning to speak in public. I hope to help you with this difficult, frightening, but rewarding endeavor.
Here is Step One in the plan to be a better public speaker–Work at it.
Good public speakers are not born; good public speakers are made. They are made by practice and hard work. As a veteran of over forty years of preaching, I can assure you that you must work at learning to speak effectively in public.
Many people simply assume that they can stand before a group of people and speak effectively without any preparation or practice. In fact, when I first started preaching, preachers debated–and often lambasted one another over–the need or desirability of preparation. The argument for no preparation went something like this: simply stand up and the Holy Spirit will give you what you need to say.
Fortunately, that debate has died. Ineffective, long, and rambling sermons killed it! The Holy Spirit should not be blamed with the laziness of the preacher. If you intend to speak to God’s people–and probably anyone else–you should make the speech important enough to prepare.
To speak in public, you must prepare and you must practice. Good preparation and intense practice will make you a better speaker, and it will help remove a great deal of the fear. Prepare good content and practice good delivery. Working in these two areas will help you immensely.
Over the next few weeks, I will give you tips on how to prepare and how to practice.
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