The best way to become a better public speaker

The Coaching Institute's Matt Lavars tells how he became a speaking gun, and how you can too.

Dispensing tips on how to become a better public speaker isn't something Matt Lavars saw in his future before he joined The Coaching Institute in 2011.

About a year before he started his TCI journey, our now-head trainer worked as a personal trainer on a cruise ship. Onboard, he was taught how to run seminars and "they essentially helped us get really good at just remembering a script," says Matt.

Easy. Problem was, if someone asked a question, he was floored about how to respond.

"I learned the skill of public speaking to a certain degree but I had no idea how to communicate in a functional way. I had no idea how to take thoughts and translate them into the way that actually made sense."

At that point, "I was at the suckiest level of communication I'd ever been,"  says Matt.

Here's how he changed that up, and you can too to become a better public speaker:

Back when he was looking to build a skill set to become a better public speaker, Matt found there was really nowhere to learn except for a couple of places in the US, "and I was pretty much broke," he says.

"No way in hell was I going to America to do a course."

He found TCI, which taught him how to be both a coach and a professional speaker—and also taught him one key realisation.

"When I saw people speaking confidently I thought, 'That's who you are, you're a confident person and you're the type of person who should become a public speaker," he says.

"One of the things I learned is that's absolute bullshit."

Wait. What?

Yes. Matt believes there are no 'confident' people: "You might have an attitude that leads you more to become a speaker but the rest is a skill you need to develop.

"It's an awesome skill, but it's a skill."

When he did his first 'How To Run A Successful Workshop' four day training inside the Master Coach program—something he now runs at TCI—Matt found it a "game changer" he says.

"It was the first time I got around the skills and the structures of how to organise information."

A mistake that people make when trying to become a better public speaker is to think you can wing it with random chatting. "You need a thought out pattern behind everything, and to know the structure of how to language something in a way where it actually makes sense."

Matt, who hopes to be a speaker "for the rest of my life", gives a great tip.

"A lot of people hold themselves back from becoming better public speakers because they don't feel confident. I always say to them, 'How would you feel confident? You can't. You don't have any skills. If you don't have skills you can't have confidence'."

So don't make the decision about becoming a speaker based on how much confidence you have.

Make it based on whether you could actually see yourself doing it.

"Take yourself to a place where you've moved through the shame of being seen to asking where you would like to be someone who's on stage ... if the answer is yes, even a little bit of yes, I really invite you to take the journey and learn this skill.

"If I can do it, you can do it."

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