Why No One is a Natural Born Speaker

This is a guest blog post by Orate Speaker, Mark Grimm. If you are interested in contributing to the Orate blog, please email [email protected] with your name, email, topic idea for your post and/or your post submission.

No one is born a great speaker. You have to work at it. Speaking is a skill that needs to be developed, like any other skill. The claim someone is a “natural” at speaking underestimates what it really takes to be great. Some people said Derek Jeter was a natural, too. Then, why did he work so hard at batting and infield practice?

It’s true some people are more extroverted by nature and more comfortable in front of people. But comfort level can be altered and being relaxed is just one aspect of great speaking. The first step in great speaking is good research — finding out what the audience really wants to get out of the presentation and then designing a program to exceed those expectations. Great speaking is about editing, taking a large body of information and paring it down for the audience. Sharp editing and the use of concise language are learned skills and very few people do them really well. Listening is also needed in presentations, a skill that doesn’t come at birth either. How well does your two-year-old listen? How about your teenager?

A speaker once told me he didn’t need my coaching help because he was able to easily “wing it” in front of the audience. I replied, “Yes, it appeared like you were winging it.” He wasn’t connected with his audience.

Speaking also requires us to get constant feedback from our audience — what they like and don’t like. It is the only way to get better. No truly great speaker is ever completely satisfied with his/her performance.

Great speaking, as much as any field I know, is open to everyone. It’s not what you were born with, it’s how you use what you have. With the right coaching, the sky’s the limit.

About the Author: Mark Grimm is an Orate Speaker, Coach and Media Strategist. He is a professional speaker and speaking coach. Don’t hesitate to contact him for help. His speaking book is also available at markgrimm.com. To learn more about Mark, check out his Orate profile: https://www.orate.me/speakers/251-mark-grimm?next_id=251.


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