Becoming the World Champion of Public Speaking

When you’re on a journey, and the end keeps getting farther and farther away, then you realize that the real end is the journey–Karlfried Graf-Durckheim

On June 15, 2013, Lance Miller, the 2005 World Champion of Public Speaking, gave a presentation on how to become a champion public speaker.

This post summarizes the main points of his talk.

1. Speak from Your Heart
Speak about a subject you are familiar with. You can’t fake sincerity, and the energy that flows from the place where you telling the truth, as you firmly believe it, will fuel you during the entire speech.

2. Listen to the Audience
So you have a sincere message. How do you know if you are using skillful other means so that the message actually connects to the audience? Listen to them, and they will tell you.

3. Strive not to Win, but to Wean
You should be looking at the contest process as a way of weaning yourself from weaknesses, mistakes, or other impediments that keep you from delivering your message.

4. Humility, not Humiliation
You should go in with an attitude of learning, and enjoy the experience. Let go of your desire for the fruits of that experience in the form of winning against someone else. Let your “win” be that you are a better speaker each time you enter a contest. Think of an exercise class: is there any health benefit you gain from being stronger than the person next to you? No, the only health benefit you will experience is if you are better than you were before.

5. Go to the SPA
Your speech should have a Story, a Point, and an Application. The Stroru consists of the set up (who, what, when the conflict occurs), the failed attempts to resolve the conflict, and then the Point where it is resolved. You then give the Application to the audience b y having them experience it through the Story, not by telling it to them. They will process your message far better with their hearts than with their heads.

These points for me showed me that, as the opening quote from Karlfried Graf-Durckheim said, that the end IS the journey.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: