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Discovering the hidden GEMS in public speaking

Friends, colleagues and IoIC connections, lend me your ears: when Charles Darwin first hypothesised about the "fight or flight" response, he probably wasn't specifically referring to the fear of public speaking. The fear of public speaking is real and it even has a name as I've learned - "Glossophobia". Although we're all capable of engaging in perfectly normal, well-articulated conversations every day in our social and work settings, the very thought of mustering enough courage to stand and talk in front of a group of people can inspire anxiety in many of us.

But here's some good news for all aspiring speakers and presenters - Lyn Roseaman, author of the best seller, Now You're Talking!, assures that public speaking, if anything, does not have to be stricken with stress: "it's public speaking, it might go wrong, but it's certainly not life threatening."

Last week, I had the absolute pleasure of hearing from Lyn where she introduced her book at the IoIC FutureNet event hosted in the VMA office here in London. Talking us through the essentials of delivering a great speech, Lyn also took us on a journey of discovering the hidden GEMS that can make any public speaking event stand out:

Gifting: Always remember that the spotlight is not on you, it's on what you're going to say. So look at the event as a great opportunity to gift your audience something valuable and memorable that they can take away with them.

Enthusiasm: If you're passionate and enthusiastic and really care about what you're going to say, your speech is likely to become a winner even if you think you're not as prepared as you might like to be.

Mindset: Whether your presentation slides were not on point, or you forgot something you wanted to say, look at the experience as part of the learning process to make your next one better. There is always room for improvement. And while you're at it, make sure you brief somebody in advance to give you proper feedback too.

Success: every occasion you get to talk is a big deal. So, make sure you celebrate your successes, however big or small. And be open to welcoming any opportunity to speak and try things differently.

From an internal communications point of view, public speaking is quite fundamental to the many hats we wear in our roles from delivering presentations, to chairing meetings, to pitching for internal communications as a business function, and even conference speaking opportunities. Earlier this year, IoIC launched the new IoIC Profession Map Framework 2020 and two areas in the framework where public speaking skills will surely come handy are:


  1. Influencing and Advising – to nurture stakeholder relationships and use our influencing skills to provide feedback, being seen as a trusted advisor, and coach senior leaders to have effective and purposeful conversations with employees.
  2. Creating and Curating Content and Conversations – to facilitate and lead meaningful conversations that inform, inspire and drive action in our organisations through knowledge sharing and storytelling.

So, the next time you're about to give that standout talk, remember to make it shine and sparkle with Lyn's GEMS. Lyn Roseaman's book Now You're Talking! is now available to buy on Amazon. You can follow Lyn on Twitter @lynroseaman or Instagram @nowyouretalking.

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