Once upon a time there was a talented and hard-working (and very beautiful!) coach who was passionate about helping normal, everyday people realise their dreams.
She worked with her clients from dawn to dusk to help them be bolder in their lives and often to a lot of success.
Then one day she woke up and had an ‘aha’ moment and realised working one on one wasn’t the best use of her time.
“If I really want to help as many people as possible then I need to be on stage!”
She was very excited about the possibility of connecting with so many more people and skipped downstairs to tell her step-mother about her exciting news . . .
Unfortunately her step-mother was not a very nice person.. . . and instead of supporting our beautiful coach to have even more impact on the world, she turned round and said:
“You’re not educated enough to tell others what to do!”
And . .
“You’re not a natural speaker, who do you think you are to speak in front of an audience!”
Luckily our beautiful coach realised these were just lies about speaking.
In the 12 years I’ve been speaking on stage (Wowsers!) I’ve seen a lot of strange things. Apart from making me feel quite old it also reinforces just how much experience I’ve had on the speaking circuit . . . I’ve spoken on other people’s stages, I’ve run my own highly successful events, I’ve even put on my own multi-speaker events.
During this time I’ve realised that the strangest thing of all is not what actually happens on stage . . . it’s the myths and perceptions that everyone else has about public speakers!
Today, I’m going to dive into them and dismantle them one by one!
Here are four common, and untrue myths.
Myth #1: You have to be educated to become a public speaker
Although education is a great asset, it is not a requirement if you want to start speaking from stage. Yes, a high educational qualification may appeal to some audiences but it all depends on your niche. If your market is academic, then a good educational background can pull interest from buyers.
But the truth is most of the market does NOT demand a highly educated speaker. A lot of public speakers don’t have college degrees and yet still make large amounts of money selling from stage. . .
In some niches, blue collar speakers with little or even no education may possess more mass appeal because the audiences can more easily relate to them.
Tip: As a speaker, remember you must inspire and motivate your audience to take action with you. If you have a lack of higher education and yet have achieved professional and financial success – then this is a very inspiring premise indeed.
Myth #2: You have to possess the gift of speaking in order to stand up in front of people to speak
Public speaking is a skill and just like any skill, it can be developed and practiced. There are formulas that anyone can use to create great speeches . . . all you need is a message and the willingness to deliver that message to your audience. . . .
. . . Then after a few tweaks, revisions, and rehearsals; you can present a knockout speech even without the possessing the “gift of speech”.
Tip: Technique and practice are the key factors in improving public speaking skills. Dedicate yourself to the art of practice . . . and greatness awaits you.
Myth #3: You have to be different or change who you are to speak
Many people will often say that a career in public speaking will make you fake, somewhat pretentious and change your personality.
If this is the case, public speaking seems like very hard work but in reality, you do not have to change in order to become a speaker!
Great speakers are individuals who stay true to their characters, including their weaknesses and idiosyncrasies. It makes them human.
Tip: Always be authentic when you are speaking from stage. Audiences are far more perceptive than you realise and will soon pick up if you are putting on an act. Just be yourself, that’s all you need to do and you’ll be surprised at how quickly people warm to you.
Myth #4: You have to work hard to be a public speaker
This can be rather subjective. Yes, it can be hard work if your heart is not into it. Any endeavour without passion is not an easy task. However, if you are really committed to the career and loving it, it won’t matter, will it?
Moreover, once you get the hang of it public speaking will come naturally to you.
Tip: If you love speaking or you’re passionate about your topic, then speaking from stage will be like a hobby for which you’re getting paid!
So this week, I suggest you sit down and make a list of all the myths or fears you have around public speaking or selling from stage . . . take the time to really get them off your chest. When your fears are on paper they won’t seem as scary any more and you’ll see them for the myths they really are! Remember, you don’t get anywhere in life without taking action so why not get out there and get yourself on a stage or a webinar soon!