Public Speaking Skill

Mastering the Speech Qualities

Developing public speaking skill requires mastering speech qualities. It will take work. It will take practice. To master the skills will take constant and never ending improvement. Even after decades of speaking, many of the top speakers still look at their speeches, lectures and presentations and ask hard questions of themselves.

  • How could I have improved on what I said?
  • How could I have improved in the way I said it?
  • How could I have simplified what I said and not lose the meaning?

Developing Public Speaking Skills, A Never Ending Process.

    It can be a rewarding goal. Not because of the commendation. Not because of the applause, rather because of the power you have to solve problems, end conflict and improve lives and make change for the better. The more you master the skill, the more good you will be able to do for mankind.

    "There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave."
    -Dale Carnegie

    When you help just one person, and they come up to you some time later and tell you the effect you had on their life, you will have a moment in time that is priceless.

    Just one life you may have touched, perhaps inspired, maybe even saved is worth more than any monetary reward you may receive. That's because you get an emotional pay check as a bonus.


    You will be compensated well for your hard work, time and effort.

    Once you master public speaking skills, in addition to satisfaction from a job well done, on top of any pay you get, you will get a bonus. The emotional quality of joy. It will be worth all the effort and time you put into your Speechmastery.

    How do experienced speakers attain Speechmastery? How do experienced speakers master each public speaking skill?

    There are a number of ways to learn new skills. What is your preferred method of learning?


    For advancing your public speaking skills try the focus technique. If you look straight ahead you see a panorama of sights. Yet if you look closely at something near and focus just on it, what happens to everything else? It becomes a blur although still visible.

    Using the same process to learn public speaking skill will enable the mind to grasp the concept and at the same time add it to the other speaking skills acquired. Focus on one or at the most two skills in any given speech. Once you master them, they will become part of your thinking thus your speaking. Then move on to the next public speaking skill.

    To truly focus on just one or two skills will require not looking at the other speech qualities. No matter how tempting. To do so would dilute the effort. It would slow down the learning process.

    Once you have mastered all the individual qualities, then and only then move on to the next goal of mastering them collectively. Only then start working on public speaking skills as a collective.

Pausing for Example

    On your way to public speaking skill improvement, you will be tempted to work on all of them. To understand the importance of focusing on just one or two, consider this example. Lets look at the speech quality of pausing.

    When first learning to pause, it will be uncomfortable. Your mind will be thinking, "I should be talking right now. This is really embarrassing, I am a speaker and I am not speaking." At the same time you count, "One, one thousand, two one thousand," and so on. You count to insure you make the pause.

    The next time you work on pausing you might notice the faces of the audience. You see puzzled looks. You may see looks of agreement. Some may give an eyebrow wink at you.

    The pause has allowed a mental connection with the audience. By not speaking, a more subtle form of communication is taking place. Your silence communicates with the audience. When this happens, you have just advanced in your public speaking skill.

    To understand and learn this skill along with the other skills would be difficult at best. Focus on just one or two at a time.

The Longest Pause...

    An example of mastering a public speaking skill.

    If you want to be really bold try this. Your purpose among other things is to illustrate empathy. In addition to illustrating empathy, you want to help those who are lacking this quality to be able to identify their weakness.

    To accomplish your purpose of helping your audience you will not only explain what empathy is, you will illustrate it.

    Imagine you have already completed your introduction, you are in the body of your speech. After painting a word picture of empathy, you begin your illustration. To accomplish this you stop talking and start to look through your notes (you will have to take some extra papers for effect for this one).

    Then you look on the floor to the right, look to the floor to the left. The entire time you are totally speechless. This is a really, really long pause.

    Your audience is getting uncomfortable at this time. As a matter of fact, they are starting to worry. They are starting to feel empathy for you. At least you would hope so. Then patting down your jacket you give the 'ah-ha!' look and reach into your pocket and pull out a piece of paper.

    You now proceed to explain to the audience, the feeling they just felt (hopefully) was empathy. For those who don't feel it, you could go on to explain why it is such a vital quality in the stressed out world we live in.

    In this example, can you see how you could connect with the audience on a visceral level? Do you see how you could get into their minds? It was accomplished by not saying a word. More importantly, it was accomplished by mastering just one public speaking skill.

    To be effective at learning each skill, to master the speech qualities, it is best to devote your self to only one or two if they are related. It will be easy to add new ones to your expanding speaking skills.

    Imagine the possibilities of mastering public speaking skill once you have mastered all the speech qualities. By having singular focus on mastering just one or two qualities, you have an easier time mentally imprinting what you have learned.

    Here is the best part. You can practice these any time.

Searching for Benny Goodman.

    It has been said that Benny Goodman would practice on his clarinet for 6 hours a day, every day. If you know the clarinet or Benny Goodman, then you probably know he is one of the few people who have ever been able to master Flight of the Bumble Bee.

    One other notable great, was Grandpa of the King family. He was able to play it on a guitar. Oh yeah, he played it with one hand tied behind his back.

    You can be to speaking what Benny Goodman was to the clarinet and Grandpa King was to the guitar. You can be that good, if you practice, practice and practice.

    The curious thing about the practice you may be wondering about. How did he practice for 6 hours if he was say, flying across country? Airlines a half century ago were similar to airlines today. They have a ‘no clarinet practicing’ policy in-flight. For that matter, they have a no ‘practice public speaking’ policy too.

So how can you practice, practice, practice?

    It is always good if you can practice out loud. Some advancing speakers even get into the empty auditorium and practice in front of the empty seats. You may not have a working microphone and lights, but it gives a feel that will help you grow in your public speech skill.

    What do you do if in pursuing those skills, you cannot find a place to practice? What other ways are there to practice?

    The same way Benny Goodman did. You practice in your mind. This takes the 80/20 rule to new levels. What if only 20 or perhaps 10 percent of our speech was physical? What if it was 80-90% mental? You should be able to practice mentally then.

    You can do just that. Numerous studies from the Seventies, to the present, show that many things are more mental than physical. Studies like the following one that tested a number of bowlers illustrate how this works.

    Start with two groups of bowlers. One practices every day for 4 weeks. The second group practice the first day of the first week and then the last week they have a tournament. The second group, instead of practicing physically, practiced mentally. The two groups practiced the same amount of time. The same number of days.

    Who got the better score? Those who practiced mentally did.

It Gets Better

    Two groups of people were assigned to exercise their little finger. One group physically exercised their pinky for a set amount of time and number of times per day. The second group was told to perform the same exercise, but only in their minds the same amount of time and the same number of times per day.

    The first group had a 30% increase in strength in their finger. You would expect that, after all they were exercising. Imagine their pinky dumbbells, curling! Imagine the excitement of being able to dead lift 28 oz.! This is not what’s interesting.

    The second group had a 16% increase in strength! You might recall this is the group that didn’t lift a finger. The fact is they got stronger.

    Remember this simple fact about your personal growth and development...

    Both physiological development and mental development starts in the mind.

    Now to move on...
    Look at the comprehensive list of speech qualities and public speaking skills.

    Look at the individual speech qualities with expanded explanation in presentation skill.

Take the Public Speaking Skills Improvement Tutorial and learn how to improve your own public speaking skills by critiquing other speakers. Learn more by clicking on link. You can observe up to 12 hours of highly paid speakers and learn how to improve your speaking as you observe them.

Add Public Speaking Praise to your skills Check out this list of 65 ways to say 'Good for You.'

Go to Speaking Skills List The Public Speaking Skill Website

Lets Connect View Jonathan Steele RN Holistic Nurse's profile on LinkedIn
Lets Connect View Jonathan Steele RN Holistic Nurse's profile on LinkedIn
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