How many of you are terrified of public speaking? Turns out that this is more the norm than the exception.
Public speaking merited a great deal of attention even back in Cicero’s time. If you know how to speak confidently, you awaken the sycophant in the listener. A good speaker usually has many slaves. This works well in a political rally, in the boardroom and even the classroom and of course on Ted but it is a talent that is greatly missed. So the self-help industry churns books and videos advising the stuttering speaker on how to stand, how to pretend you have technical prowess and how you can fake confidence until one day it becomes a habit.
We also have an arsenal of technological fixes unavailable to the ancients. We can write our speeches down and edit them on the page. We don’t have to memorise them – we have index cards and autocues. The autocue can be a great help, but you need to learn to use it as if it isn’t there.
Viv Groskop’s How to Own the Room: Women and the Art of Brilliant Speaking sounds interesting.
Sam Leith really breaks down the rhetoric. Read Afraid of public speaking? This is what the experts say