Warren Buffett told business students at the University of British Columbia that public speaking is the most valuable skill cultivated for success in life. He took it one step further and linked public speaking to its importance in business growth.
When he was young, Buffett tried taking a Dale Carnegie speech workshop to overcome public speaking fear. It is a little-known fact, but Buffett withdrew from the first try because he was too scared to speak. The second time he went through with it, and today, he proudly displays his office certificate while spreading the benefits of learning communication skills. According to him, “you can improve your value as a person by 50 percent just by being able to speak in public about your ideas. “
According to Chris Anderson, author of the book ” TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking, ” public speaking has been cited as the number one fear of Americans. ” But also, even people who are not afraid, tend to do it wrong and achieve unclear talks, where the public leaves little connected with the ideas of their speaker, when not bored. But the point is that, in the end, we all have to do it sometimes, whether in work, academic settings or if we are lucky or unfortunate to dedicate ourselves to speaking in front of other people.
What can be done to improve the way we communicate? The first thing is to remind yourself, strange as it may seem, that the general public is made up of strangers. That makes it easier. Why? There are two reasons. The first is that strangers offer quick interaction that is inconsequential. It’s easy, to be honest or direct with someone you will never see again. The second reason is that we have a bias when it comes to close people. We hope you understand. We assume that they do it because they have had time to get to know us, to the point that we expect them to read our minds, and that makes our messages, in general, unclear. Imagine that you are at a party, and you cannot believe that your friend does not realize that you are uncomfortable and want to leave. You’re thinking, “I’m looking at it ‘that’ way, it’s impossible for me not to notice.” It is more or less of that. We do not tend to assume things we are more specific with our message; we must start from scratch and explain ourselves in detail, so the final communication is by default of higher quality.
It is also important that we keep in mind that the mind is full of ideas carefully linked together, and these, together, form an incredibly complex structure that is our personal view of the world. The brain’s operating system is unique. By this, we mean that the personal views of two people can be drastically different. Therefore, ideas are so important. If communicated correctly, they can change, forever, the way someone thinks and shape their current and future actions. Poor communication, even if they make sense to you, can lead to dire misunderstandings. For this reason, it must be, in essence, very textual. The most important task of a speaker is to outline an idea in the mind of the public, it is not only about exposing ambiguous or abstract things, but you also must be specific and polish in the details.
“If I must lead a two-hour speech, I spend ten minutes preparing it. If it’s a ten-minute speech, then it takes me two hours.”- Winston Churchill.
For this, by default, you must limit the talk to a single important idea. You should not jump from one thing to another and another. People who know you can, with few exceptions, pivot in a conversation. Strangers, especially audiences who cannot interrupt you, need the common thread to be clear because it is not a conversation – nothing can be left in the air. Also, the ideas are complex. Without truly enormous exhibitions, it is impossible to explain well, truly well, more than one truth. You must reduce the content to focus on “The idea” and explain it correctly.
Also, it offers the listener a reason to attend. Arouse curiosity. If you can clarify that there is a gap between the listener’s worldview and what you must contribute, they will feel the need to fill in that knowledge gap by listening to you.
Another thing to keep in mind is language. The idea must be built from concepts that the public already understands. Speakers often forget that many of the terms and concepts they use, jargon, are completely unfamiliar to their audience. Difficulty in accessing the understanding of information kills curiosity. The best language is direct and affirmative, mostly colloquial.
Lastly, always positively express yourself. Dr. Herbert Clark, a psychologist at John Hopkins University, made the surprising discovery that it takes an ordinary person 48 percent longer to understand a sentence negatively than in a positive way.About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.