If there is a ‘secret’, it is this. All those speakers who impress us with their eloquence know it. Most of what makes a speech great is not in the telling; it’s in the preparation. Steve Jobs used to clear his schedule for two full days to perfect his Mac World presentations. And of course, he had been working on the presentation for weeks beforehand.
This is such an important point. So many of us mistakenly believe that we lack the ability to speak well in public. That these great speakers are simply more talented than we are. If we knew just how much work a ‘genius’ like Barack Obama does on his speeches, they wouldn’t seem to be the product of a mysterious ability. And we would see that, with the right work, almost all of us can do a good job when we stand up to speak.
As Celia Sandys learnt from her grandfather, Winston Churchill,
“Practice is essential, particularly if you want to be spontaneous”.