Do you want to share your stories to inspire people around the world, but have a fear of public speaking? If so, I understand! I recently took a public speaking course that is helping me get to the next level with my speaking!
For most of my life, I was terrified of public speaking. I avoided it as much as possible, especially at school, work, and public events. However, I knew that when I started Expanding Wallet that I was not only going to have to speak publicly, but I was also going to have to share stories that detailed my experiences in life.
Due to the power and reach of social media, I was also going to need to be good at speaking in front of a camera as well.
In this article, I’m going to share the journey that I’m on to significantly improve my public speaking skills and how I ended up learning from Les Brown, one of the world’s greatest motivational speakers, and how you can too!
I hope that through my sharing you will be able to determine a path for improving your speaking ability.
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The Importance of Communication
Before, I dive into my public speaking story. Let’s take a quick look at why communication is so important.
Let’s start with a survey done by the National Education Association taken in 2014. The survey showed that adults believed communication skills would help American students get ahead the most, even more than reading and math!
That was all before the Coronavirus pandemic. Now, distance learning, remote work, and virtual events are the norm. Your ability to verbalize your thoughts and ideas is more important now than ever before.
We now even have Clubhouse, a social network platform that only has audio. People jump on a live virtual audio meeting to talk and learn from each other!
Do you think your ability to speak will be more or less important in the future?
Facing My Fear of Public Speaking
I knew I needed to face my fear of public speaking, so in the summer of 2020, I reached out to a friend of mine, who happened to be an internationally certified public speaker. She told me that she had a twelve-month program that was all online. Her course was geared towards those who are business professionals, especially those in the financial industry. It sounded perfect, so I signed up and started the course. I learned a ton about the technical details of writing a speech and the different ways to tell stories. I’m still taking this course and learning a lot! Her course is excellent for those that have a product or service to sell.
Aside from being able to market products or services, I also wanted to speak to inspire people. I was fortunate enough to have a friend who told me about Les Brown, one of the best speakers in the world! Ironically, Les Brown had recently launched his own public speaking course called Power Voice Training. The course was 7 weeks. The course’s objective is to train people on how to share their stories to motivate and inspire others publicly. This sounded perfect, so I signed up right away!
Benefits from The Power Voice Training
I completed my seven weeks and the Power Voice Training was amazing!!!
It included a self-directed online training curriculum with details on how to do the following:
- Build up self-confidence
- Speak with power, conviction, and feeling
- Keep your audience’s attention
Students in the course had to develop their own short speeches and submit the speeches for feedback. Feedback typically came back a few weeks after submission.
The most exciting part of the course was that students all met once a week on a live call with Les Brown and his mentor Jon Talarico. Students were selected randomly to perform their short speech to everyone on the Zoom call. After a student would finish their speech, instead of Les Brown just providing feedback, he performed their speech as if he was them. It was amazing how much he could remember and how powerfully he could deliver each person’s speech!
I practiced my speech a ton and even joined a small group of members from the course to have a weekly speech practice session. This allowed me to improve my speaking ability and my speech significantly. I also become more confident each time I did my speech in front of others. After submitting my speech, I received very positive feedback, and my only area to improve on was to pause a little longer between key points!
One perk of the course that I didn’t pay much attention to at the start of the course is that you get inclusion in the Power Voice Training Facebook group. Within the Facebook group, members of the course posted their short speech videos and other inspirational speeches they wanted to share.
Through the Facebook group, I became good friends with some AMAZING PEOPLE who are going to make a serious impact in this world, so remember these names:
- Cordell Jeffers (United Kingdom)
- Ravin Williams (United States)
- Amy Bolding AKA Lady Bolding (United States)
- Andrea Mason (United States)
- Crystal Harrell (United States / Indonesia)
Through one of the members in the Facebook group, I got my first public speaking opportunity at the Parenting and Mentoring Teen Summit! I delivered the 5 Keys to Success speech. It was an amazing experience! You can watch my speech here.
What I found most shocking was in a pandemic, I felt more connected to people I barely knew than I had before the pandemic. It simply illustrates the power of sharing personal stories. We heard each-others stories and could relate to each person’s struggles, but most importantly, we saw where each other was headed. In our own ways, we all set out on missions to elevate and inspire.
Is Public Speaking Right for You?
The ability to speak in a way that allows your thoughts and message to be understood clearly is critical. As Les Brown says, “Develop your communication skills because when you open your mouth, you tell the world who you are.”
If you feel in your heart that you need to improve your speaking skills, then I encourage you to get a copy of World Class Speaking In Action.
Who knows what will happen when you take your communication skills to the next level!
Next Key Actions:
- Write down the ideal audiences you would like to inspire.
- Check out World Class Speaking In Action to see if it could help you speak to the audiences you listed.
- Be sure to subscribe to the Expanding Wallet YouTube channel where I’ll be speaking to inspire and educate!
- Remember, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” Zig Ziglar
LEARN all that you can, BELIEVE in yourself, and take actions that allow you to GROW!
Get your FREE copy of the 5 Keys To Success Guide (click here).