Hey there, today, we’ll give you a few keys to understand our mission with Pitch Cards.
Giving a great speech is easy
We deeply believe that anyone can talk in public. You might now be summoning past images of yourself stuttering in front of your classmates, looking at your shoes in front of your co-workers, or making a ‘Thank you for listening to our presentation’ slide. Perhaps you can’t even bear to imagine yourself going up on a stage and talking to a room full of people. We’re here to tell you that all of this can be learned, and how important it is that you do so. Nancy Duarte has a very interesting TED talk on the structure of great speeches in history. In her study, she identified a common structure to them. I agree with her points, but each circumstance requires an individual approach.
Generally, the most critical point is the clarity of the message. The speaker must make his message simple, even on a complex topic. This not only allows the audience to understand better, but also shows great understanding on the speaker’s part – to put complex things in simple terms you must understand them to a very high degree. The speaker must also have a certain empathy for the audience – to feel when things are dragging on, and when you have the audience’s attention and you should go into more detail. Don’t worry, this can be learned! It is also important to have conviction – to believe in what you are saying. This is where it becomes tricky for some people.
How to overcome issues in public speaking
The main problem people face while speaking in public is self-consciousness. “Are my ideas really interesting?”, “Who am I to be talking to people about this?”. Humility is a fantastic quality to have, self-doubt is not. Think of the people in the media right now. Sometimes, the person that should REALLY be thinking “Should I really speak about this?” instead is the loudest one out there. The ones that have valid points are often not paid attention as much as they should be.
You must be deeply convinced of the message and infect others with your conviction. People for most part don’t like to be prescribed what to think, but love listening to people who are deeply passionate when speaking about things that are important to them. You must give them the keys to understanding your point of view, and let your conviction be the guarantee of being heard. People will take away what they want from your speech, and many will end up agreeing with you. This can be scaled down – if you have the conviction and self-belief to put your ideas to a room full of people, you will be able to effectively put your point of view forward in an important pitch or job interview. Another limitation people often have when speaking publicly, is their professional gravitas.
They seek to validate their ideas with their authority and professionalism, instead coming across as boring or stiff. On the other hand, neither should you aim to be a stand-up comedian. Aim to be human. Your authenticity will underline your message. Every person will have a different mix of these issues and will require a unique style of coaching to strike the right balance. This is why professional coaching can be useful.
Why should you practice public speaking?
Many of you have jobs that seemingly don’t require public speaking. Let’s say you’re a designer, developer, or a programmer. You might think: “I am just a programmer, I sit, and I code, why do I have to practice public speaking?” This is a very good question, and one that is easy to answer. Will have personally coached numerous companies and start-ups full of people like you, and we know that designers, developers and programmers are always full of ideas, and more often than not, these ideas are very good.
What we also notice is that even though their ideas are often great, they do not know how to present their ideas in an efficient and impactful way, and people do not listen to them. This can be frustrating. Their great ideas end up not being used, and they end up frustrated. Most often in these types of jobs, you are working for a client. At the end of the day, the client pays, so the client decides. It is up to you to show the client why your idea is the best solution. Otherwise, someone who doesn’t code will tell you how to code, someone that doesn’t design will tell you how to design, and so on.
You need to give them the keys to understanding why this idea is the right one. You need to give your ideas a chance. This works on the managerial and leadership level too. Public speaking is sharing ideas. Leadership is inspiring people to act. The two go hand in hand. This is why I have a deep belief that public speaking is a transferrable skill that anyone can benefit from, and a skill that everyone should acquire.
Get yourself into the ring, your ideas are deserving it!
Have fun !
The Pitch Cards team