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Try These Common Sense Public Speaking Tips

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Here are a few tips you’ll want to keep handy when you’re just starting out in public speaking. These aren’t anything out of the ordinary and for the most part the points below are really common sense. The idea here is that too often we forget common sense when we’re overtaken by anxiety, social phobia and fear of public speaking. That’s a reality for a lot of people who are just starting to speak in front of an audience and it’s also a reality for more seasoned speakers who still find it challenging to overcome their fear of public speaking and stage fright.

Once again, these points are common sense, but you’ll still get a lot out of reviewing them:

1. Learn from people who have gone through the same experience.

2. Use sentences and techniques that have been tested.

• Some structures are known to work better than others. Rely on what works!

3. Practice a lot!

• This point can never be stressed enough.

4. Practice in front of a mirror.

• Learn to integrate your own body language style to your words.

5. Record yourself and listen to your pronunciation.

• This is an excellent way to speak with clarity.

6. Make sure you know your subject inside out.

• Your audience will respect you if you are an expert and know what you’re talking about.

7. Let the audience know upfront that public speaking is not easy for you.

• Some speakers may disagree with this, but many have embraced this idea. It might be more practical to use this technique in front of smaller audiences – this works particularly well if you have to present a wedding speech, as the audience is smaller and more forgiving. When you are drawing crowds of several thousand listeners, they expect you to be a top speaker.

8. Know your stage.

• You’ll want to visit the podium (and the room) before you speak to make sure you know where to step and what to avoid. If anything is unsafe on that podium, you want to know about it before hand and not risk being embarrassed on stage.

9. Know your technology before you deliver your speech.

• You should always test your visual aids and microphones before you deliver your speech.

10. Hire a specialist to take care of all technical considerations.

• If you’re microphone doesn’t work, you don’t want to be caught on stage trying to fix your own technical problems. Hire experts who can do it quickly. You should only have one focus – your audience.

11. Have handouts prepared just in case your visual aid doesn’t work.

• For obvious reasons, you should check your Power Point presentation many times to ensure that it works perfectly and there are no technical glitches. But sometimes, the best intentions are just not enough. Always have photocopies of the handouts that can be quickly distributed in case anything goes wrong.

12. Don’t forget to interact with the audience. This will not only make it more interesting for the audience, but it will ease the pressure off of you.

• If by any wild chance you get a question or comment that you cannot answer, simply be honest about it and let the audience member in question know that if they want to contact you directly you can try to get them an answer. If that question is really important to that audience member, he/she will take you up on your offer. If the question was not that important, you won’t need to worry yourself much because the audience member will not purpose matters any further.

Knowing These Personality Types Can Affect the Success of Your Communications

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Most people are familiar with Meyers Briggs personality type or some type of personality assessments and may have even taken them to find out what makes them tick. Hippocrates determined that there were four basic personality temperaments or types roughly 2000 years ago. Knowing different personality types when you are interacting in either social or business situations can be a great advantage especially if you are trying to persuade people to act in your favor. Basically there are four personality types that people fall into predetermined by their dominant characteristics. Bottom line here is that when you are interacting with a personality type and you are trying to influence them you will need to address their personality type to be successful at winning them over.

The four personality types or temperaments are Amiable, Expressive, Analytical , and Driver. Amiables  tend to be steady , dependable, consistent , empathic and trusting t o name a few. So if you are trying to persuade that particular personality type , you may want to soft peddle your approach and build some trust and rapport in your communication process with them. Expressive types  are usually confident, energetic, enthusiastic  and are more colorful they require a lot of fluff and color so you will have to paint a vivid overall attractive and exciting pitch with all the bells and whistles  to sell them. Analyticals  on the other hand are almost the opposite of the expressive, they tend to be detail oriented, orderly, perfectionists that require facts, statistics and data to be convinced of anything. Leaving out any quantifying facts or data when you are trying to convince an analytical is fruitless and you will fail to win them over. The last personality type Driver is usually a bold strong willed personality that is goal oriented that likes to see the big picture no bullshit. So if you are pitching the Driver you will need to cater to their personality accordingly since they will be quick to judge and leave you in the dust.

Each of these four personality types are usually easy to spot because they are in professions or roles that suit their personality types. For instance, you will find Amiables in careers or positions like nursing, teaching, secretaries. You will find that most expressive are usually in sales positions, advertising, arts type careers. Analyticals will typically be engineers, accountants or chemists to give you an idea. Usually drivers are Ceo’s , top line managers, business owners in which they are usually in top command running the whole show from a big picture view. I’m sure at this point you are thinking of the people that you know or have encountered that fit these descriptions. Now that you have the knowledge of these personality types you will be able to be more successful in dealing with these folks for a more successful outcome when you are trying to win them over whether in business or your personal life. 

What is Your #1 Fear?

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As I sat in the Dentist chair chatting with my Dentist before he proceeded with my treatment, he mentioned that the number 1 fear for most people is the dreaded Dentist visit. I said well that may be true to some extent but it is well known that the number one fear in the world is getting up and speaking to an audience, unless of course other countries have fostered some very brave people when it comes to public speaking. So why would you think that presenting in front of an audience trumps getting a root canal? Well there are many more nerve endings in the whole body versus your mouth and when you are called to perform on stage your nerves affect the whole body in the form of trembling  and stumbling over your words not to mention  many other physical manifestations that affect the psyche which creates a fear in the mind that can be unprecedented. This can outweigh any type of perceived physical discomfort that you may anticipate at the dentist.

The question is how to we prepare and try to eliminate our #1 fear before speaking? Well most people will do some research and try to find articles to help them to overcome their public speaking fear. There are many tricks and methods that you can do to help yourself but the best way is to take a public speaking class when they are available to you. The reason that you will need to seek out a public speaking class is that you will be able to learn from pro’s that have been helping people for a long time so they have all the bells and whistles and have experience speaking to audiences themselves and know the ropes. You will need to find such a public speaking class that will teach,  then have you do many performances as to simulate real life speaking presentations to prepare you for your real life speaking performances. Some things to consider of look for as a class itinerary would be how to eliminate audience intimidation, how to organize your thoughts – this will cut down on nervousness being that you have a well thought out presentation , how to build rapport with your audience and how to break out of your emotional stalemate. All these are done with simple effective exercises and can be life lasting for a permanent solution.

So as you can see public speaking fear is a real concern for most people and can be addressed and an most cases eliminated .But like anything else you can’t just keep putting off a fear that cripples you from being a successful communicator when it your task to speak.

Eliminate Fear of Rejection and Never be Afraid to Speak in Front of an Audience Again

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Most people have either had a bad experience with public speaking or have avoided getting up in front of an audience fearing that they may be rejected for one reason or another. In either case the mere thought of getting up in front of an audience and failing or feeling like the audience is scrutinizing their presentation is very daunting. So how does one get over this public speaking fear or how I like to call it –“perceived fear” because all or most of this is in your head?  Remember the first thing is that the audience is “your audience” and you are the presenter which means you are in control. The audience is listening to you as they see you as an authority; this may be hard to believe but is true the only person that is the harshest critic is yourself.  Ok this is simple to say but how do you get over being your own critic? How do you realize confidence before you step on stage?  The answer is knowing some basic fundamentals before you speak and feeling comfortable with not only who you are but the way you will deliver content that will be delivering and using a formula that will give you the assurance that your presentation is being well received.  Remember 90% of your nervousness does not show to your audience.

First of all let’s talk content.  Is it relevant to the audience and will the audience gains from your presentation. If you feel that your content will be of value to your audience then you have the first step down and you should feel confident that your material is being well received. You can test this by posing rhetorical questions for audience buy in. Let’s back up a second though…  The design of the presentation will give you even more self assurance because you will have a sort of script to follow this alone will give you as a speaker great confidence.

You can attend a public speaking workshop to be able to learn to design your presentation, but I will give you a little insight. First of all make sure that your title is presented as “solution” to/for your audience that way you have their undivided attention at the beginning of the presentation. Trust me when you feel you have your audience focused on your topic at the onset of your presentation this will give you the confidence right off the bat. Then you will go into the body of the presentation, this is where you will have the opportunity to back up your solution (title).Once gain, a good public speaking workshop will be able to teach you how to design a good body with the major points of focus. For example you will want to use no more than 3 points and you will back each point up with some evidence or a factual account. The presentation does not end after you have finished with the last point. This is where you have the opportunity to close your audience.  You will review or recap your presentation points and then tie them back into the title which was or is your solution.

When participants who take public speaking workshops learn this they become very confident and effective with their presentations and if you choose to take a public speaking class you will eliminate your fear of rejection and never be afraid to speak in public again.

Public Speaking Training Programs that Actually Work for You

Finding a public speaking training company that will satisfy your needs can be a chore.How many times have you been through a company training session provided by an outside source only to find that a after a few days you find yourself forgetting what you have learned? There are a lot of training companies that boast that their programs whether it be sales training, public speaking training, or any other general business training that promises to produce more revenue for your business. I myself have experienced and endured many training programs through my years in the corporate world that promised that once we completed these magical courses that company revenue would increase at a healthy click. Very soon after our minds were armed with new approaches and solutions to outsmart  the competitors and the very people (customers) that we were to obtain new business.

Most companies or individuals are desperate for a quick fix to make themselves more potent producers not really paying attention to how the mechanics of the training course. I have only received and retained very few techniques from most of the training companies that have impacted my business skills, why? Because most training companies tout programs that they have developed with mediocre tools for success or dispense what I call “rote” information which translates into basically training material that has been rehashed and rehashed from other training courses that you may have received  in your early years in sales or management. You may also experience a training that offers a “cute” tie in with some kind recreational theme or so. I’m sorry but this type of training lasts a few days and you will feel yourself forgetting what you have experienced shortly thereafter. This s due to the fact that your training experience was one sided meaning that you probably did not participate in the training to validate what you have learned. Eighty percent of public speaking training companies do not offer the opportunity to learn a section then practice and then perform while in the training class. This is the only way to “reinforce” the training so that it sticks. Most training companies will send in a trainer as a “talking head” to ‘preach” training program and with the exception of fielding a few questions from the participants instead of taking the time to validate what participants truly learned.  So what should you look for in a successful training workshop? An example of a Public Training workshop that I have experienced is actually having the presenter or trainer deliver many sections during the day of training and after each section the participants will break out and then practice with a partner from the class to reinforce what they have learned and then do a solo in front of the room as to simulate a live presentation in front of an audience. They also showed you how to design and write, while in class, a well crafted and effective speech. When this method is employed about 8 or 9 times in the workshop the participants will actually come out with something that is truly learned and absorbed. Most training companies will specify how they institute their training on their web site or most people should inquire as to what a proposed itinerary will include. It’s  important to find a public speaking training company that will actually leave you with a noticeable change in your confidence and skills.