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Public Speaking and the Vancouver Winter Olympics 2010


Copyright (c) 2010 The College Of Public Speaking

The 2010 winter Olympics has begun. Whether you’re a fan of curling, ice-skating or downhill skiing, an Olympiad is where people come together to share in man’s wonderful desire to be the best that is humanly possible. So what’s that got to do with public speaking? Quite a lot, actually.

It’s a little known fact that speaking was one of the original Olympic disciplines. The Greeks going back 2,500 years were the first to open educational establishments teaching rhetoric to those who would become its leaders, law makers and prominent citizens. If you were unable to stand up and debate your corner of the argument, there would be little opportunity for advancement in the Greek intellectual hierarchies.

For millions of people across the world, public speaking is a wonderful hobby that can have an incredible impact on your professional life. I started in IT training some 20 years ago and still enjoy the buzz of sharing my knowledge and skills with my students as ever. When I moved into speaking 10 years ago, I suddenly realised how much room there was for self improvement. Confidence allied to excellent vocal technique makes for a memorable training intervention (knowing your material inside out really helps speaking confidently).

When I became a member of my local speakers club it became clear that there were several areas in which my spoken technique could improve. For some years I had wrestled with the joy of fantastic feedback one week followed by some not so fantastic feedback the next. It was never clear why my feedback was extremely positive and sometimes, not so positive.

It all came down to vocal technique and the very simple fact that: It’s not what you say, it’s the way that you say it.

Clearly, there would be weeks when I was highly motivated and brimming with enthusiasm for my subject matter and my attendees. There were other times when my vocal energy had clearly stayed at home. If you speak without belief, enthusiasm, sincerity or passion, you must make the assumption that everybody turned off some time ago. By combining pace, pitch, pause and projection, your training or speaking event becomes a cathartic experience for your audience.

Aldous Huxley once said, “There is only one corner of the universe that you can change, and that is your own.” An initial thought is that there is merit in his point, but as a trainer we have an amazing opportunity to influence positively your students for an ongoing period of time. The opportunity is to read between the lines of your subject matter, inject motivation and inspiration into each and every sentence. There are many ways to elevate your subject matter; try case studies, analogies, anecdotes and metaphors. Deliver your subject in the moment!

I really want to witness the return of public speaking as an Olympic event. Would it not be marvellous to see the world’s best speakers battling it out on TV in front of five hundred million viewers? Why not? Imagine that profrssional speakers could demand the same fees as top sports stars? Why not? Before I make it happen, I must first have that dream… the return of speaking as an Olympic event.

The College of Public Speaking offers a variety of personal development course. Based in London, hundreds of students each year benefit from our diverse sessions. For more information on voice coaching, vocal variety, vocal impact, elocution and accent softening and reduction For more information on the College of Public Speaking please following the links: Voice Coaching Elocution lessons london