The very existence of modern humans as shrewd, intelligent and articulate individuals is due to their ability to communicate and express through words, their thoughts and ideas. The power of speech and rhetoric is a potent weapon, which distinguishes and sets our species apart from all our other counterparts.
Throughout history, the height of human effectiveness has been the ability to persuade others. As such, the aim or goal of public speaking has been to cause an action to take place that would not have taken place in the absence of the speaker’s words. The job of a good speaker is to motivate and impel their listeners to think, feel and act differently through their words.
Since antiquity, powerful speakers around the world have used excellent oratory skills to convince people to action of some kind. So many extraordinary individuals have gone on to make a fortune for themselves based purely on their remarkable speaking skills. Leaders and big business tycoons have made use of oratory skills to influence the general mass.
From Greek philosopher Demosthenes to former US President Barack Obama, all leaders have one thing in common — they know how to speak. The ability to speak to an audience is essential for one’s success. Speaking well can garner respect, enhance self-steam, improve your chances and open new doorways. Individuals who are able to twist their tongue well are generally considered more intelligent than those who lack the ability to speak.
Fortunately, the art of public speaking is a learnable skill and this book of Brian Tracy, Speak to Win, a 2008 bestseller, does just that. The author talks about his own experience of being a motivational speaker over the past 20 years. Attending nearly 4,000 public seminars has provided all the mantras that an individual needs to become a good speaker. No one is born a speaker, every individual learns the craft of speaking from their social environment. It is a social trait that we inherit from our surroundings.
When a child is born, they learn to speak from their parent. Later on in life, when they begin to communicate with others using words, it is a social behaviour they learn from their surroundings. One research tells us that people who are good orators generally have higher social intelligence.
Luckily, excellent speaking is learnable. Most people who are competent speakers today, at one time, could not have led a silent prayer in a phone booth. People who appear to be confident and articulate in front of an audience were one time terrified at the idea of standing up and speaking in public.
As Harv Eker says, “Every master was once a disaster.” It means everyone who is doing well was once doing poorly. But in order to become excellent speakers, these individuals were willing to move out of their comfort zone into the discomfort zone. They were more than happy to feel clumsy and awkward during their growth and development when they were moving towards a higher level of competence.
Remember the story of the famous Greek orator, Demosthenes, considered one of the finest speakers of antiquity. When he began, he was nervous, shy and troubled by both stutter and speech impediment. But he was determined to be a good speaker. To overcome his difficulties, he put pebbles in his mouth and spoke loudly to the sea for hours every day. In time, he eliminated his stutter and overcame his speech impediment. His voice grew louder, stronger and more confident. He became one of the greatest orators in history.
So, if you are looking forward to starting your own journey of becoming the next great orator, then this masterpiece by Brian Tracy is all you need to kickstart your journey. After reading this book, you will be able to use powerful techniques, tactics and methods of great speakers in every area of business, politics and personal life. It will help you in accelerating the process of speaking with competence, confidence and clarity. So, if you are determent enough to be the best speaker, then this book is meant just for you.
On a personal note, I found this book similar to, other self-help books written by the author, where his narrative style is linear and repetitive. But since his genre of writing is self-help. So, without being too judgemental, I want to give the author the benefit of the doubt.