How is Elias Kulukundis interested in public speaking?
“Public speaking is a form of writing. You write to express your thoughts, and you speak in public to do the same thing. But speaking is different from writing, however, in one important respect. When you write, you are free to rewrite and change your meaning many times before you publish it. But when you speak in public, you are no longer free to change your speech. You have actually published your speech by making it. You published it on the air, and that only took a few minutes.
But to deliver a good speech, you need to prepare it ahead of time. The best advice I read about public speaking is in Dale Carnegie’s, How to Win Friends & Influence People. Carnegie says, performance is preparation. And the message is clear—if you haven’t prepared, you shouldn’t get up to speak.
Carnegie’s advice is obvious, but many so-called speakers pay no attention to it. They leap to the podium, or speak from their seat, without a minute’s preparation; and think they can put it all together on the spot. If you are tempted to do that, think of playing a piece by Beethoven on the piano instead. What? You haven’t rehearsed any piece by Beethoven, and you can’t even play the piano? Then why do you think you can just give a speech without preparing it? That makes just about the same sense.
If you just want to hear the sound of your voice, you should stay in the shower. People sing in the shower, so why not speak there? They can hear the sound of their voice and not bore anybody in the process, though if they speak for too long, they will be wasting water.
But if you take your role as a speaker seriously, if you go to the podium because you actually have something to say, and care about your speech enough to prepare it ahead of time, then others will listen to you and be grateful.
A speech is usually called for by the occasion. Something is happening which needs to be acknowledged. Someone has to acknowledge it. If that is you, you have to make a speech. What kind of occasions demand speeches? Certainly a graduation ceremony, a toast at the wedding, the anniversary of when something was established.”
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