Most people are shy of appearing in public to speak. Very few are courageous enough to come and not to blush or feel awkward. The reason is inferiority complex, which is a common psychological disease and which makes us avoid contact with others and instills into us the conviction that we are useless and worthless people. This disease must be thrown out and one must acquire the courage to address people whenever the occasion calls. A little self-questioning and self-discipline will drive away this inferiority. One must not think meanly of oneself and too highly of others. People are generally not particularly hostile to us unless we have made ourselves already hateful to them, by some action. They give a speaker a chance and if he is not very poor, they do not hoot or hiss at him. One should go on the stage with this conviction.
Everybody is not an orator and so everybody cannot become a lecturer, an actor, a leader or a speaker. But occasionally everyone of us can say something on which our knowledge or skill or emotional sympathy may entitle us to say something.
Preparation of one’s subject is essential before one goes up to speak. Preparation includes study which may take weeks and months of hunting up facts, reading and weighing. Then they must be arranged as an essay is arranged in points: beginning or introduction, development and a winding up. Beginners will do well to write out his entire speech, to remember it by heart and to speak after some time one can go with notes, though one must practice the delivery a few times before actual public performance. Only when one acquires skill can one speak without preparation.
The matter should be well argued, supported by facts, should have emotional appeals, humour to enliven the discourse and should be well illustrated. Discourtesy, had taste, vulgarity and a show of unreasonableness must be avoided.
One’s command of language and pronunciation should be good. Speaking wrong language, or speaking too fast or without a good rise and fall in the voice must be avoided. Nothing a more hateful to an audience than a long monotonous sound. The speech should be brief and interesting and must not tire out the audience and be considered an infliction. If one devotes labor and time and drives away nervousness by delivering extremely well-prepared and fine speeches to small audiences who appreciate one, one can become a good speaker. Awkward gestures, affectation and pose, heating the table must all be avoided, for they are vulgar tricks and are disliked by the audience.