On a recent Sunday evening, I watched a friend ‘graduate’ from a beginner’s class for stand-up comedians.
Needless to say, I saw many levels of competence and talent as nine students gave their 10 minute ‘commencement speeches’ before an audience of perhaps 250, mostly friends and family.
Some, obviously, would never make it to prime time. Others have a good chance, given determination and patience. But, what’s striking is that they all got up on stage and did their acts.
I know it takes courage to stand up on a stage and deliver a conventional speech, and it must take even more to deliver a comedy monologue, especially for first time.
If you’ve itched to take stage, but fear holds you back, perhaps their example will give you extra push you need to take plunge. The good news is that you can overcome that fear. And you overcome it with two things: knowledge and practice.
Knowledge refers to strategies, tactics, and techniques used by speakers, and involves learning about many, diverse elements that go into a speech or presentation.
In a properly-managed learning process you work with elements individually. In one speech you’ll focus on way you stand, in another you’ll focus on what you’re doing with your hands, and so on.
With practice, each element becomes more natural and eventually you’ll master and incorporate them all into your speeches - without even thinking about them.