Do you know what the purpose of public speaking is? Think about that for a moment. Too often, we are so consumed by our fear, our topic, or our delivery, that we often miss our reason for public speaking. You could be standing on a stage or in the front of a classroom or at the head of the conference table. Wherever your location, your purpose is to impart knowledge to a select group of people.

Whether your intention is to inform or persuade, your reason for being in front of those people, be it to a group of 5 or a crowd of 500, is your audience. They have set aside of their time to listen to you. That is why public speaking is not about you – it is about them.

You have been selected, invited, or hired to fulfill a requirement for that particular group of people. No matter what you are offering, your focus needs to be more on them than on yourself. If you look at the situation from this point of view, you can begin to see how you are merely the vessel relaying the information that they are eager to hear.

I am not saying that you have no value – on the contrary, you are indeed very valuable as the vessel. Bear in mind, however, that there are thousands of vessels on the public speaking circuit. What makes you stand out from your competition? While you may have a great message and while your delivery may be stellar, what do you have to offer them that will better their lives? What problem can you solve for them? How can you satisfy their needs? These are the questions you need to ask yourself and be able to answer.

Too often, speakers are so concerned with their own gratification; i.e. the fee, the selling of their product, booking more engagements, and the other accolades that come from being in the limelight, that they fail to recognize why they are speaking to the 5, the 20 or the 300 people sitting in the audience.

This is why it is so important to speak to your audience and not at them; and, that can only happen when you make eye contact with your listeners. In doing so, you become more intimate with your audience and are then able to recognize their response to you. That is the communication necessary for good public speaking.

Understanding their needs will make you a more compassionate, caring speaker; and, that is what sells in public speaking.

Author's Bio: 

The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. To see how voice training can improve your life, both professionally and personally, visit Voice Dynamic or watch a brief video as The Voice Lady describes Dynamic Public Speaking.

Additional Resources covering Public Speaking can be found at:

Website Directory for Public Speaking
Articles on Public Speaking
Products for Public Speaking
Discussion Board
Nancy Daniels, the Official Guide to Public Speaking