Confident conversations

This week, Wetherby Senior’s Year 12 cohort have enjoyed an inspirational lecture on how to improve their public speaking abilities.

Taking place at Queen’s College, London, our sixth formers heard about ‘Speaking With Confidence’ from Nick Gold, Managing Director of the international speaker bureau, Speakers’ Corner. Current Year 12, Maani, has kindly written the following article about this lecture:

Mr Gold came in to talk about how to remove fear when public speaking, as 75% of us have a fear of public speaking, also known as glossophobia, and 10% of us have an extreme case of it. One of Nick’s tips was to, ‘own your words’. Rather than sticking some words on a screen and reading off it, it is better to have a few points of guidance (such as flashcards) and speak around those points. This allows you to have more freedom when speaking and gets people to listen to ‘your own voice,’ rather than someone who is simply reading off a screen.

Another of Nick’s main points was to make sure you are comfortable in your surroundings. Often, we find ourselves shocked or surprised at where we are meant to be speaking. Do you want a microphone? Do you want a speaking stand? What clothes will you be wearing? These are all questions that we often fail to ask ourselves before public speaking and, as a result, become nervous or disjointed and your speech does not turn out the way you want it to be.

Nick’s final point was to connect with your audience. You want your audience to engage with you and you can do this by telling stories and not facts. If you have simple fact to say, why not change it into anecdotal story to keep the audience interested? Also, it is important to make the audience ask questions and be curious. After all, you don’t want to be delivering a speech to a wall of blank faces, do you?

Thanks to Maani for his article about Monday’s lecture.

Nick Gold’s company, Speakers’ Corner, provides motivational speakers, after dinner speakers, conference facilitators, keynote speakers and awards hosts. His first book, Speaking With Confidence, was published in 2020 and contains expert advice and tips to help anyone who has to speak in front of an audience. Nick (pictured, below) is available on email:

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