There’s no escaping it: if you want to be a better speaker, you need to craft better speeches.
This is because the core building blocks of speaking skills are your speeches.
One of the traps that many speakers fall into, is they think they want to be a better speaker, so they focus on themselves and stop looking for ways to make their speeches better. They deliver each speech once and then forget about it.
Without working on your speeches and aiming to make them better, you can never become a better speaker.
Imagine a musician who only plays each new song to a crowd once. Nobody is going to become a fan if they only hear a song one time. It’s the same thing with your speaking. Your speeches are like your songs, and they need to be crafted and reworked over time.
One of the benefits I have gained from competing in speech contests is that I am constantly delivering the same speech many times over. And each time I do, I am looking for small improvements.
About a year ago, I hit onto a simple formula. Every time I speak, I aim to improve my speech by 1%.
What I mean by 1% is that I look for a small tweak, change or correction; something that will add a little more impact or engagement.
Often it comes from someone else giving me feedback. Sometimes it comes from me thinking differently after I’ve delivered the speech. Either way, I learn something and adapt the speech accordingly.
By focussing on the 1% formula, I also take the pressure off myself making anything into a masterpiece overnight. But believe me when I say that all those 1% improvements add up.
By following this 1% formula, I have transformed some very average speeches into memorable gems.
In the process of reworking my speeches, I have automatically become a better speaker. The changes I make to one speech are transferred into new material and into my speaking ability.
Remember that great speakers deliver great speeches. And great speeches are built over time, through small, incremental improvements.
There’s no escaping it: if you want to become a better speaker, you need to keep to reworking your speeches and delivering them over and over again.