From blogging to public speaking

Aug 21, 2008 by


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Blogging made me better with written words; but how about spoken words or public speaking?

I experienced that quite some time ago, even before I took my break and my holiday. That night I had church small group gathering and I was not in the mood of attending. It is the men’s fellowship where most of them are fathers in their 40s and 50s, while I’m the only one in the 20s. Because of earlier commitment, I came. As I was so tired, I planned to be just quiet in the meeting. I was planning to observe and not to talk too much.

Fortunately, I changed my mind. I was thinking to myself, “I’m so tired and wanted to be alone, but usually I can write and blog when I am tired. So… why didn’t I speak as I blog?” That moment, it changed my attitude. I visualize myself blogging while speaking, and eventually, came to my surprise, I managed to share a lot of thoughts that night. I enjoyed the event and I’m leaving the event not so tired anymore.

Now it’s my turn to share the lesson to you; how you can use your experience in blogging while speaking in public.

1. Relax

I enjoyed blogging very much because it’s usually my relax time. It is my time that I spent alone, reflecting. No pressure, no impression needed. I don’t have to do anything and I don’t have to think about what to speak. I can take my own sweet time. I simply relax, flow with my thought, and write. Amazingly, speaking is much better with the same attitude as well. Good speakers are very relaxed while they speak. They are secure with the knowledge and capabilities they have, and they easily speak fluently.

“In public speaking, fast is slow”, Kern taught me. He was a teacher in one English school whose preview I attended. I was taught by him about public speaking that day. He pointed a good example that many of us will speak faster when we are nervous. Try otherwise, slow to relax yourself, and amazingly, slowing also shows your confidence in what you are speaking of.

2. Flow

winter
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There is one message I read quite long time ago from Scott H. Young, How to Fuel a Creative Flow. He wrote about two-flow theory of creativity. One is the creation flow or generation of ideas. And the other is destruction flow or perfection of ideas. The more important point he shared is to keep the two flows separated. Don’t let the destruction flow interrupt your creation flow.

This concept has been very helpful in my writing, and I found that the similar concept is useful in public speaking. Speaking is very much a creation flow, and you better stop your destruction flow while you speak. That is also very much the strength of extroverts. They speak before they think; some people even say that they speak without thinking. They talk and let their opinion comes out without any inhibitors. They do not worry about other people’s impression. They are spontaneous, going with the flow.

Introverts, on the other hand, are very much into perfection when they talk. They put very high standard on themselves. Hence, they are sensitive to the mistakes they made. Sometimes, right after they speak it out. That is how destruction flow can distract the creation flow. It occupies your mind, and it destroys your confidence.

Try to be bold! Being bold also means that you will make mistakes, but being bold is going beyond your fear of mistakes. Being bold always comes out of confidence. Confidence that everything is still under control, that God is still under control and you don’t have to worry. Even with mistakes that you have made.

3. Refine

Writing needs destruction flow or refinement of ideas. That is when you restructure the sentence and grammars. It is the time when you reflect to the messages you are about to share again. It is where the skepticism, focus and higher standards are given.

Does speaking needs that too? If so, when does the destruction flow in speaking comes?

Destruction flow is necessary, but it comes when you are not speaking. That comes either when you are preparing or listening. Presentation requires you to prepare beforehand; it is the time where you refine your idea.

On the other hand, discussion, meeting, or impromptu presentation may not give you any preparation time. In that case, the destruction flow comes when other people speak, when you listen. Listen attentively, and use their idea to refine your idea. Thinking alone is very limited, and you need to get other people’s idea to refine them.

4. Give

Merry Christmas <3
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I believe you have read or listened a lot about the importance of self-confidence in speaking. It’s true, it’s very important. But how do you achieve it? Here is what Scott suggested…

I’d argue that self-confidence is an oxymoron because total confidence means a lack of self… Only when I stop thinking about “me” and focus on the idea I want to cover does the writing become easy.
~Scott H. Young (Self Confidence is an Oxymoron)

Writing with self-confidence required you to stop the focus on you, but on the message you give. Similarly, bring the focus of your speech to the message you bring. It’s no longer about the impression you need to make, or what people think about you or even your idea. They can share about them after you speak, but not when you speak.

Setting a purpose is what I found also helpful while writing. And similarly, speak with purpose in mind. Naturally, people always think about themselves most of the time. Only when they have purpose and affection, they will think about others. Similarly, you need to occupy your mind with something, with purpose and value you are giving. And then you’ll have much more confidence.

5. Background

Another worry that writers often struggle is the matter of style. Strunk and White are giving one advice through their book, The Elements of Style…

Write in a way that draws the reader’s attention to the sense and substance of the writing, rather than to the mood and temper of the author… the first piece of advice is this: to achieve style, begin by affecting none- that is, place yourself in the background.
~Strunk and White (The Elements of Style)

The writer is the background. And the same way, it’s important to bring yourself to the background while speaking. It’s no longer the style you want to present, but the message you want to bring. And the rest that matters is your proficiency in the language use, your style will emerge as you give and focus on the value you bring. It’s how you can connect with your readers (or listeners).

Concluding thought

Writing has become helpful in that event. Tiredness made me much more relax, and I choose to visualize as I’m writing. I focused on what the message that I can bring up and share with the others. I let it flow, slow and without any pressure. People notice how you speak. And interestingly, you can be in the background and your confidence is still shining.

Writing (and speaking),
Robert

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27 Comments

  1. Dear Robert -

    I have done a great deal of public speaking in publicizing a few books.

    I have always found it useful to speak to ONE PERSON at a time in the group. It helps to connect with the whole crowd.

    Congratulations. You do know you can do anything, don’t you?

    Corinne Edwardss last blog post..WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?

  2. Great post. It’s interesting to know that building self-confidence can be as easy as ABC. Interestingly enough, http://www.confidencebuildingcourses.com offer good tips too. Might be interesting to check it out.

    Samanthas last blog post..4 Quick Tips to Improve Your Self Confidence

  3. I was a member of Toastmasters International for several years because I had a fear of public speaking. It was great practice, and I learned to get my ego out of the way and simply enjoy sharing ideas with other people. I agree that the best thing to do is to forget “self-confidence”. The problem comes when we take ourselves too seriously.

    Great topic! Thanks.

    Jean Browman–Cheeerful Monks last blog post..My Brain Is My Favorite Toy

  4. Hey, it’s great that you managed to overcome your fear of public speaking to eventually being able to address the crowd of older men. What a boost in self confidence it must have been! Public speaking is a skill that I’ve yet to polish!! Thanks for the tips!

    Evelyn Lim | Attraction Mind Maps last blog post..Guest Post: 7 Tips On How To Handle Rejection In Life

  5. The first time that I had to stand up before a crowd and make a speech had me sweating buckets full of perspiration. I was tongue tied, despite having a reputation for being a successful salesman. I however had to do it as my promotion depended on it. I went upto the microphone, held it in my hand and told the audience precisely what I felt at that moment. They cheered me and clapped as though I had made a great speech. I felt completely at ease after that and just made my speech which I had rehearsed a number of times before the occasion. I subsequently came to know that quite a few people in the audience related to my experience and they were the ones, with similar earlier experiences that had encouraged me.

    I was lucky. After that, I had never felt any nervousness and used the technique that Corrine suggests – speak to one person in the crowd at a time. It really works. Today, I have a reputation of being a fairly good public speaker!

  6. Nice article there Robert!

    I too have days when I would go into a “MIA (missing in action)” mode where I’d only appear and disappear after meetings due to being too tired after a long day of work. But hey! It takes a spark to start us talking again. :)

    Daniel

    Daniel Richards last blog post..Let’s Mingle In Our Very Own Forums!

  7. Robert A.

    Hi all, I’ve been MIA (Missing in Action) for a transformation weekend (which I will share with you in a few days). It’s really a big revelation for me that will change my life.

    Corrine, thanks for the tips!
    Evelyn, all the best for your development!
    Rummy, congratz for your achievement, now I need to learn from you.
    Jean, Samantha, and Daniel, thanks for sharing your opinions and link.

    Let’s speaking guys!
    Robert

  8. very nice post. this was certainly one of the more interesting blogs i have read all day. thanks for the refreshing writing.

  9. Hey Robert, I am impressed by the quality of your blog entries and you have a very attractive blog layout. :)
    Let’s look at how we can write one article together.
    See you at MCW!

    Erics last blog post..15 More Ways To Take The Stage And Sharpen Your Public Speaking Skills

  10. Robert A.

    @antiques, thanks for your comments!
    @Eric, looking forward to work with you at MCW!
    Robert

  11. Hi Robert,
    Very well written article! It reminded me of my own experiences.

    I actually experience something rather opposite from yours. I am comfortable with public speaking and generally can speak for a while at the same time maintain coherence and structure. Somehow i just can do that.

    But when i try to write, i will have much more difficultly in structuring my thoughts than when i speak!

    Do you happen to feel the same way before?

    Now that i am blogging more than i speak, i actually wish i can write more smoothly… :)

    Do let me know what you feel.

    Henry

  12. Hi Robert,
    I almost wanted to pm you because i couldn’t post the comment. When i tried the first few times, i was rejected and told to activate php or javascript, which seems strange to me.

    Fortunately after i cleared my cookies it worked. Just thought this might be useful to you, as there might be similar users like me who tried to comment but couldn’t.

    Henry

    Henrys last blog post..How Michael Jordan Remain On Top Of His Game

  13. Robert A.

    Hi Henry, I’m naturally not a good speaker. I prefer write than speak. I think it’s more of personality, some people enjoy speaking a lot.. but only recently that I found that there is some connection between them. As we write with flow, it’s just as if we speak with flow. As we relax while writing, we can approach the same way in public speaking.

    As a friend, Eric Feng, shared, people are not afraid of public speaking, but public humiliation. Need to learn to relax, slow down and no need to be nervous.

    Maybe for you, the challenge is more of restructuring your thoughts, I’m sure rewriting and reviewing your writing will help. Making it deliverable and understandable to your readers.

    Thanks for your very first comment here, hope you enjoy this blog and keep on smiling!
    Robert

  14. Hi there! Just found your blog through the traffic group and I have subscribed! Great writing and I’m so glad you found your voice out loud as well ;-) For me I have to do the opposite. When I am writing my blog I have to imagine that I am speaking to a group in order to stop second guessing myself and just create. I tend to have more of a flow when speaking because once it is out of your mouth you cannot backspace, whereas when I write I can be too hyper-critical of myself. My best posts read as if I had spoken them to a crowded auditorium.

    I look forward to reading more of your blog!

  15. Hi Robert,

    I agree with you that when we stop thinking of ourselves, and instead thinking of what we can give to others, we can drastically reduce the feeling of nervous.

    Thanks for sharing the tips. :)

    Raymond Chuas last blog post..Miraculous Manifesting—2 Case Studies

  16. Hi Robert,
    Thanks for the effort to email me because you are afraid i might not get the notification.

    I guess you are right about the structuring part. When i speak, somehow i can structure my thoughts but when i write, i realize i have to organize my thoughts on a piece of paper first before i can write them in a coherent manner. Definitely hope to be able to achieve a standard of writing where i can just write with flow and structure!

    Great blog!

    Henrys last blog post..How Michael Jordan Remain On Top Of His Game

  17. Robert,

    Thanks for the inspiration. I’m getting ready to make the move from blogging to public speaking so these tips come in quite handy and they are quite timely (may I add).

    Thanks for your incredible insight.

    Miss Gisele B.

    Miss Gisele B.s last blog post..Why is it so important to find balance in our fast-speed world?

  18. Great points. Getting nervous is one problem that I have when speaking in public. So what I do is memorize my speech and when I started speaking, I talk fast that I appear like reciting my speech. I think I should get rid of my nervousness and self-confidence is the most important thing that we should equip ourselves when speaking in public.

  19. Robert A.

    @Melissa, Raymond, and Gisele
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. Also for your encouraging comments.

    @Henry,
    You’re welcome. I’d like to say welcome to my blog as well. Glad that you enjoy it!

    All the best!
    Robert

  20. Robert A.

    @Paula, wondering why your comment got into my spam list.
    Anyway, thanks for your comment! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas. Slow is usually a better idea, to relax and just speak, focus on the message instead!

    Thanks,
    Robert

  21. Great read, thanks for sharing. Your post reminds me of the Toastmasters sessions I attended last year – one piece of advice that’s always stuck with me is the use of silence. We always think of silence as a bad thing when public speaking, but I’ve learned that it can be an incredibly effective tool in creating a specific mood, or in emphasizing a point.

    cheers, candy
    http://www.carrieanddanielle.com

  22. Robert A.

    @Candy, you got a great blog.
    Thanks for the message and the point you brought forward.
    How silence is useful, it’s really interesting.

    Cheers,
    Robert

  23. This is a great article. This book, “America’s #1 Fear….” has helped a bunch of people beat stage fright. A cognitive psychologist and a successful and theatre prof put the book together. The first half covers the cognitive techniques and the second half contains interviews about stage fright with celebrities like Robin Williams, Melissa Etheridge and much more: http://howtobeatstagefright.com

  24. Nadia

    I found this post very interesting. For sure I will create similiar on my Blog, can I link to Your blog then?

  25. Petra

    I’m glad that i found Your post. Good reading, gives more to think about this… Thanks!

  26. Michelle

    Finally I found a post on this interesting topic, but it was not easy. Are You making any SEO for your blog?

  27. Yes, blogging is a relaxing way to release the stress and tension in your mind through your writing. To have your blog be popular or be indexed you should do SEO stuffs just like what @Michelle have mentioned.

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