For reasons best known to you, you’re here – reading a page about “Speaking Well Enough”.
I hope it’s not presumptuous to offer this assurance:
- If you want to make the world a better place, you have more chance if you tell people.
- If you dread making presentations for work, you can learn to overcome that.
- If you dread making a speech at a private event, you can learn to overcome that.
- If you’re self employed, you can acquire confidence sharing your work with a wider audience.
- If you’re a speech-writer, but rarely give speeches yourself, you can learn what your clients are going through.
- If you give some kinds of talks already, you can extend your repertoire.
- And in this age of Zoom, you can always pick up more techniques to make online engagement work for you.
“I’ve hated public speaking all my life and I suspect it’s held me back both professionally & socially – will watch out for what’s coming with much interest.”
- email from P.K.
Hi, I’m John-Paul Flintoff. This part of my website is about the art of Speaking Well Enough. It builds on A Modest Book About How To Make An Adequate Speech. Learning to enjoy public speaking can be quite mind-blowing, giving you all kinds of exciting ideas that you will want to put into action.
What Is It Worth To Be A Confident Speaker?
In my own case, shifting from being “just” a writer to being a confident speaker meant an entirely new career, with lots of opportunities.
I was happy as a journalist, on prestigious titles (an award-winning writer on the Financial Times magazine, then the Sunday Times) but digital media made the future for journalism look risky.
So I wrote a book, and gave talks about it that people seemed to enjoy, with laughter and solemn nods (at the right moments). These talks – and then workshops – led to me being invited to write another book, How To Change The World, that was published in 16 languages, and in turn led to me addressing crowds of up to 5,000 people, on four continents.
As a journalist I was used to interviewing amazing people. Now I was being interviewed by journalists (in Mexico once, to my astonishment, by 20 journalists together).
I couldn’t have imagined that any of these opportunities would come my way. Learning to speak publicly has been priceless.
I didn’t plan to write a book about public speaking. My agent suggested it. I hated the idea of writing a guide to fakery and manipulation. So I said, I’ll write it if I can call it A Modest Book About How To Make An Adequate Speech. I thought that might put him off.
OK, he said, great!
Having written the book, but before it was published, I created a 30 day course to teach the essentials of classic rhetoric, plus lessons from my training in theatrical improvisation.
I kept the numbers small, so that participants could get to know each other and practice new skills in a private group. Also: I wanted to be sure it would work.