One of the best ways to be a better speaker, besides practicing, is to watch other good speakers.
Some of the best speakers I know enjoy watching presidential candidates give speeches, or finding other sources of good speakers. (Hint: not all presidential candidates are good at it, and in fact most are pretty bad, but at least they’re above average.)
So, here are a few ideas for learning from other public speakers.
1. Watch TED talks
I’ll start you off with a couple of good links:
You can learn something from any TED talk, though. Not just the good ones. You could learn from David Blaine’s TED talk what a monotone speaker looks like. While his content may be interesting, his speaking ability is limited.
2. Write down good analogies/phrases
When watching other speakers, take note of good analogies, phrases, or strategies they use. Don’t just think “oh that was cool”, actually write it down and review it afterwards. See if it fits in one of your speeches.
Take note of the effective parts of their speaking styles. If someone is paid to speak, try to figure out what it is about them that got them this far. Why are people willing to pay for them to speak in public?
3. Watch presidential debates and speeches
While typical presidential speeches such as inaugural addresses and responses to major events are not always applicable to the type of speech you’ll give, they can be a gold mine of interesting nuggets. Keep in mind that presidents have their speeches written by professionals.
Take note of the persuasive techniques they use, like telling stories and anecdotes of people they’ve met. Note the authority with which they speak, and how confidently they present themselves.
4. Look for top speeches online
Youtube has plenty of good speeches if you’re willing to look for them.
Here’s an example, from a world champion toastmaster.
Watching good speakers is a great way to improve and learn new speaking skills.
The main point, however, is that you need to be willing to work at it. If you haven’t thought of doing any of these 5 things before, then I can say with some confidence that you probably don’t put much effort into your speaking. You can change that, but it will take work.
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