Public Speaking – The Number One Thing You Must Know

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When asked to speak on a subject you should either know your subject or be interested in it enough to find out more about. Very few individuals can give an impromptu speech. So if you are not prepared to master the subject the best course of action is to politely decline the request. Otherwise, you may end up wasting not only your time but the audience’s only.

Knowing your subject is a key requirement for effective public speaking today, where it is the conveying of worthwhile ideas that the audience want not fine oratory with little or no beneficial content.

In The Art Of Great Conversation it says the following about the Knowing Your Subject:-

Proficient public speaking requires a thorough knowledge of your subject matter. Your perfectly pitched voice may be pleasing to the ear; you may be a master of delivery and have a fine command of the English language. Despite all these attributes your performance still might be a flop if you are not thoroughly conversant with your subject.

This lack of thorough subject knowledge is the rock that wrecks more public speakers’ ambitions than any other. Veterans of the hard roll and fruit cup circuit frequently pop up with a talk at the sight of a breadcrumb, but often their urge to be heard is hardly worthwhile because they don’t know what they’re talking about.

Audiences are quick to sense it when your knowledge of your subject is superficial and your speech goes over like a lead balloon. Contrariwise, a person may not be considered a first-rate speaker and yet be much in popular demand because he is a recognized leader in his field and knows his subject thoroughly.

My next post in this series on speech building is “Why Should The Audience Listen To Me?”

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