Aidan Cassidy Lectures on Public Speaking Jitters, Jumbled Words, and Presentation

Aidan Cassidy, a civil servant and council member in a small town in North Carolina, has done his share of public speaking throughout his career. He was a law enforcement officer for two decades before becoming a well-deserved politician, and throughout both experiences he has developed a firm understanding of how speaking in public is a skill that is learned over time. Not only does this ability help politicians, good presentation skills carry over to the workplace and academia as well.

“The first thing you have to do to master public speaking is to understand your audience,” Aidan Cassidy says. “Why are they there? What do they want to hear? Why are you there? You need to ask yourself these questions in order to prepare a speech that is effective, remembered, and easy for you to give.”

The audience is everything for public speakers. Whether or not a person is a politician, a member of the clergy, a teacher, or a college student presenting a thesis in front of professors, knowing the audience is key. For starters, speakers have to redefine their audiences and come to understand that most people want the lecturer or presenter to succeed. This should help cut back on nerves, but more on pre-speech jitters later.

For now, Cassidy urges speakers to figure out their audience and shape their speeches around them. Not all presentations are friendly, however, but that does not mean presenters have to take out their own opinions, flow, and speaking style. Instead, it is the speaker’s goal to captivate and inform an audience in any way possible. It is not always necessary for every listener to agree, but it is important to have them at least listen, consider, and even potentially disregard the speech.

“You can’t shape public opinion with one speech,” civil servant Aidan Cassidy says. “You can, however, help influence their overall opinion of an idea or topic. It takes a combination of speeches, publications, and personal influences to change someone’s ways, so don’t worry about being the only thing separating an audience from an idea.”

 

Audience Engagement

When it comes to engaging an audience, speakers often invest in visual aids and multimedia. These, of course, depend on the venue and purpose of the speech. Slideshows are helpful to give the audience something to look at, though technology issues often come into play at the exact wrong time. When there are tech aids, presenters should make sure everything is working properly well before the speech is made.

Aidan Cassidy says it is also helpful to focus speaking to the one person in the room who is not listening. This is a common goal for performers looking to engage bored sections of a crowd, and the same applies to public speaking. This way, a speaker’s attention is not on the hundreds of eyes staring at him and her.

 

Pre-Speaking Nerves

Everyone, no matter how many speeches they have done, feels nerves before stepping in front of large crowds of people. “It’s often easiest to admit that you are nervous before giving a lecture or speech,” Aidan Cassidy says. “Even when you’re out there in front of the audience, it will put them at ease if you take your time in the beginning before launching into the main speech.”

Of course, the best way to reduce speaking jitters is to practice and then practice some more. Practicing a speech in front of a mirror, a friend, then a small group is a good way to start. Saying something aloud allows speakers to get a better grip on their speeches and will enable them to stare off the page and at the audience from time to time. This is important for engagement, too.