Public Speaking Versus Speaking Well

It should be obvious these are not the same thing. There are a great many people that engage in public speaking and ultimately, a rare precious few that actually speak well!

Most politicians are public speakers, most do not speak well. JFK is a great example of an articulatory master. He could take almost any phrase and articulate it in his Kennedy style that would make it memorable. His famous “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for you country” is the classic example. Let’s be fair but let’s be honest too, these words in of themselves are by no means profound. TheBusinessDaily They were delivered in such a way that made them seem profound. JFK had a gift, a gift we can all be learn from, he was clearly a master of speaking well.

The perception one gives when he or she speaks well is one of authority. Of course the opposite happens when one does not speak well. You may know your stuff better than anyone else, but because your speaking-well skill set is underdeveloped, the perception is that you are not an authority and thus not taken as seriously as you deserve.

Let’s be honest here, speaking well is not easily learned in a book. It’s an exercise that requires regular practice and coaching. No one is blessed at birth with a speaking well gene. It’s something that is developed over time. There is no easy quick fix here.

Most professional people understand all of this and many are in coaching programs to improve this one area. We can all dress for success in 60 minutes or less. We now have the optics in place until we have to speak that is. Those that have both working at the same time are clearly in the very top 5% of their profession.

Everyone acknowledges the advantages of speaking well. And again, it’s that top 5% that are willing to do what it takes to further their speaking well skills. This knowledge is within the grasp of anyone. Keep in mind also that speaking well is ageless and without gender. In fact I guess it needs to be said, the better you look, male or female, the higher the expectation when you speak.

I have been a professional broadcaster and public speaker for 30 years. Enunciation and articulation were my personal coaches. I certainly would not have lasted long without either. I still practice speaking out loud every day, it’s an exercise I’ve never stopped doing. Practice, practice, practice!

So your action item here is, do I continue on as a public speaker getting the same results? Or do I step it up a notch and learn to speak well and join that top 5% group.



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