Posted by: George E Burney | May 10, 2012

Public Speaking: There Is No Substitute For Thinking

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If you want to express ideas clearly, you must first think them through. No, not just to the point that you can state those ideas, but to the point that you completely understand and believe them.

Time spent in deep thought is time well-spent. As you think, your confidence in your ideas will grow, and this will affect the way you speak. You will speak with less hesitancy and feel less concern about the reaction of the audience.  You will speak with more certainty, based on the assurance you feel that your ideas have merit.

Of course, not every idea you express will be original. Still, you have to assess the idea and decide that you agree with it before attempting to convince others to accept it. In a sense, you’re like a gatekeeper when speaking, in that you decide what gets past you and reaches your audience.

Even extensive research will not take the place of thinking. An enormous amount of information can be gathered by research, but it takes thinking to make sense of it … to sort through it and arrange it into a manageable presentation.

If you simply pass along ideas of others, without first weighing and scrutinizing them to determine their validity, your conviction will be shaky, since you’re merely hoping they will make sense to your audience. If that happens, it will be a first.

On the other hand, ideas which you carefully think through, and which pass muster in your mind, will have the ring of truth because they make sense to you. That, in itself, can be convincing, since people often accept as truth what a speaker sincerely believes.

No, there is no substitute for thinking.

Copyright © 2012 by George Burney and betterpublicspeaking


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