We had a quick five interactive session with her and here is how it went!
What does Public Speaking mean to you?
Public Speaking is the art of speaking to an audience. Many people hear that and think of it as something you do in a hall filled with people, but it’s not limited to that. Whether you’re sharing your brand story with investors, pitching at work, recording a YouTube video, or giving a speech at your friend’s party, you’re engaged in public speaking.
What are the important steps to take when building your speaking skills?
There are general skills every speaker needs, from storytelling skills like research, writing, and presentation to others like elocution and proper body language. However, each person’s path will differ, based on individual strengths and weaknesses. So, the first step is to know yourself.
Public speaking will seem daunting if you haven’t figured out how to make it work for you. Self-analysis will reveal the skills you need to hone. For example, if you experience stage fright, focus on building confidence and elocution. If you’re a good orator who struggles with writing, then improve your research and writing skills.
Finally, keep practicing how to tell compelling stories, after all, your goal is to inspire your audience to an action, thought, or emotion.
In your opinion, why should women especially invest in learning the art of public speaking?
I think everyone should invest in the art, but I’m particularly passionate about women because our stories and contributions were silenced for centuries. Women have stories worth telling, and the world needs the multiplicity of our experiences and views. So, I encourage every woman to own her story and find her stage.
If you could have a lunch date with one Leading Lady right now, who would that be and what would you ask her?
Melanie Perkins, the Co-Founder/CEO of Canva. I’d ask her a gazillion questions about how she built an incredible and intuitive storytelling tool that has gained massive global adoption.
3 things you would recommend to women in career who would love to take on public speaking
Know your ‘why’. My first recommendation is, figure out your driving passion. The best public speakers make their audience feel something—they focus on connecting with and enriching the audience with knowledge, cheer, or something else. It’s hard to do this if you are not passionate about a cause, subject, or even a group of people.
Work on the ‘how’. As with anything else, passion isn’t enough, so build the skills I mentioned earlier. Understand what works for your desired platform(s) by understudying others who are doing it—watch their speeches, read interviews, and attend their events.
Seek out the ‘where’. Actively put yourself forward for speaking opportunities that are connected to your ‘why’. You can start in small settings (on your social media platforms, amongst friends, at small events etc.) and build up to the stage you want.
Above all, bring your full self to your public speaking appearances. You have stories worth telling!
To connect more with Adebola:
Instagram: Adebola Rayo