Starting Trouble in Public Speaking Is Common

In one of my public speaking training sessions, the very first day, I invited a student to come forward and speak. Immediately came the question, “About what?”

It is an interesting question. The first thing it does is, it freezes the brain. As George Jessel said: “The human brain is a wonderful organ. It starts to work as soon as you are born and doesn’t stop until you get up to deliver a speech.”

When the brain freezes, a beginner-speaker can panic at this point. However hard he tries, he might not get anything to speak on.


But what is the real problem that haunts a person when he tries to find a topic? Is it really that he does not have enough knowledge about something the problem? I don’t think so. The problem is something different.

It is a nagging feel of the mind that tells the speaker that what he speaks about might be uninteresting to the audience. This thought is simply untrue.

Anything about you can be made interesting.

Your biographical sketch can be interesting; provided it does not boast about “I did this,” and “I did that,” and provided that it does not go for a chronological listing of academic achievements. Instead if you briefly mention some aspect of your academic side that the audience can listen to with delight, then you would succeed.

For example, instead of saying, “I completed M.A. in English Literature from Mar Ivanios College in 1995,” if you can say, “A study of English Literature has helped me to have a broader understanding of life and of people through the novels, dramas, poems and biographical sketches that I got to learn,” it will certainly be appreciated.

Likewise, your favourite hobby, ambition, likes and dislikes, relationships, the game you love, movies that you like, are all subjects that can be made into interesting speeches.

So next time someone invites you to speak, do not think of complex subjects and panic. Instead think on simple things and speak. For simplicity always appeals. It hides greatness within!

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