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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.

9 Public Speaking Tips that Will Definitely Help With Any Presentation

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It’s that day when you have to give your dreaded presentation, the day you have been anxious about for weeks and now it has arrived and you are all of a sudden standing up in front of some sort of audience hoping that you will not fall apart. People are always looking for ways to either overcome their public speaking anxiety and/or to deliver a successful presentation. So how do you quell the fear and anxiety so that you can be the confident speaker that you want to be? Well aside from taking a full on public speaking class which I do recommend for many reasons you can follow these public speaking tips to get you through that dreaded presentation this time. These tips address many common issues that people have when they are “on stage” and can help you too. First tip and this one is one of my favorites because it’s just a matter of self awareness that you will be able to master immediately.

1. Realizing that 90% of your nervousness DOES NOT show to the audience. You may think that the audience can see the thoughts racing through you mind but can’t. They cannot see your sweaty palms or nervous stomach. The idea behind this is that people get even more nervous when they think the think the audience can see those things that are not even visible to the audience. Once you realize this you will not be nearly as anxious.

2. and 3.     DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT try to memorize or recite your presentation word for word. It’s   very tempting as a secure measure to get you presentation right, but you will only get tripped up when you get out of order then you will end up stammering and stuttering.

4. Show up Early – Why? Because it gives you the opportunity to “own your surroundings “ just think if your audience came to your house wouldn’t you feel a lot more in control ? Yes you would. Arriving early will give you the opportunity to feel very comfortable with your surroundings plus you behave piece mind that your equipment is working and all of your room is set up way before your audience arrives that will take that much worry out of the equation.

5. Another factor that kills your confidence is that you feel that the audience is judging you for some unimagined reason well here’s you to validate yourself by simply scanning the room for friendly and receptive faces – you need to be roving the audience with eye contact any way, so trust me this will quell any doubt that your presentation is not being well received.

6. If at any time during your presentation you feel uptight or nervous just take a couple of inconspicuous deep breathes, this will bring more oxygen to the brain and relieve the tension.

7. Make sure that you know your topic inside and out. Being perceived as an expert will lend credibility to yourself and your talk and you will be perceived as an expert who will give you confidence. I used to give stem cell presentations and every now and then someone in the audience would ask me if I was an MD., (which I’m not) right then I know that I was presenting in a credible manner.

8. No matter what it takes you need to drop your hands and I know this can be extremely difficult as you are nervous to begin with and doing something with your hands like touching your fingers together or clasping them or sticking them in pockets give you that added security. If you feel nervous and you need to do something with your hands simply start gesturing, this will dispense a lot of nervousness energy and get you looking like a pro because you need to gesture any way.

9. Last tip – Most people are accustomed to practicing their talk in front of a mirror or just into thin air. Do not do this… Instead find a small audience of 1, 2 or 3 people like your family or friends this will provide a small audience and will also be a good way to get helpful feedback, that way you will have already performed your presentation to get all of the bugs out.

I will guarantee if you use any of these tips that you prefer you will not only be well prepared  but be a lot less nervous and more confident the next time you speak in front of your audience.

How to Conquer the Art of Giving a Great Presentation

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Being able to give a great presentation in front of an audience may be good enough for a routine presentation, but if you are looking to truly influence and audience you will need to learn the fine art of selling.

Selling an audience involves a different strategy than the usual sales call. First of all you will need to have an outline of your great presentation with a good title; this means your title should be a solution that your audience will benefit from after listening to your presentation. The solution or title should be the “hook” that got your audience into the room. So what does a good hook look like? Most titles (hooks), (solutions) are pretty mundane just because the presenter typically thinks that once they get into to bulk of the presentation the audience get interested which may or may not happen. A mediocre hook that wasn’t developed properly  looks like this  “Develop a Winning Presentation”  a more effective title would look like this “How to Devise an Effective Presentation to Gain Audience Buy In” As you can see that latter presents more of a direct solution that will get the audience’s attention immediately and presents a solution.

The next trick or ability that one needs to hone is to build rapport ASAP with your audience, because we all know that people buy from whom they trust.  You can start with your background and some anecdotes to get started. Another good way to gauge the potential audience “buy in” would be to ask your audience why they are present at the seminar, meeting or lecture and then acknowledge their intent.  A great presentation should have three main components ; the opening (title) the body (presentation) and finally the (close or benefit) that the audience will gain as they subscribe to your direction . The reason most presenters fail is because they DO NOT use this simple formula!

A great presentation should be designed to educate and inform with a little suggestive selling by simply backing up your talking points with facts, examples of successful outcome so that it does not seem like you are pushing your sale on them. Trust me your audience will get the message and you can check this by observing their body language like facial expressions and other non-verbal cues. After you have completed the body of the presentation it is now time for the close, this process needs to be smooth as you can make it and the easiest way to do this is to recap your presentation mentioning your three or four main points then tying them into your close. I

Your close would literally go something like this;

So today we covered ..  Point #1 Coming up with a good solution or title to “hook” your audience,  2. Point #2 How building rapport to gain the trust of your audience,  3. Point #3 Showing evidence that our product or process works successfully, You will be able Devise an Effective Presentation to Gain Audience Buy In – Bam! You just closed your audience properly and then this will certainly lead to the question and answer portion of your presentation.  I am certain that if you incorporate this process into you next presentation you will have a successful outcome.

Overcome the common fear of trouble speaking up at work

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Leading a meeting or presenting a deck are common workplace practices, but for some people, it is incredibly difficult to speak up at work.

This public speaking fear happens for a variety of reasons.

“Shy people, for example, are reluctant to speak out in public because they are uncomfortable being the focus of attention,” she told Global News.

“Socially anxious individuals worry about suffering embarrassment or humiliation,” she explained. “Introverts, by contrast, like to work out their thoughts privately before sharing them.”

She added that in rooms where ideas are flying back and forth, the pressure to respond quickly or on the spot can add even more pressure.

And once people are known in the office for not speaking up or contributing to larger projects, employees may be reluctant to ask for their advice at all.

“This can be a self-fulfilling prophecy: you don’t expect the quiet person to speak so you keep talking, which ensures that he or she will not speak,” she continued.

“Introverts do not like to interrupt, but they often have ideas they want to share. Simply asking a quiet person how he or she prefers to provide input can solve the mystery.”

Some people prefer to be invited to speak, some prefer to share their ideas in writing, and some just need some time to prepare their thoughts.

When your fear turns into a larger problem

Some, like experts at job-hunting site Monster, added the fear of speaking up, in general, could even cost an employee their job.

One  study found when employees don’t speak up, it can lead to non-productive habits, reduced performance and turnovers and a higher chance of being absent.

“There are four very common fears that stand in the way of you speaking up, especially as a new hire,” Some believe they are too new to have their opinion count at the workplace, while others are never too sure if they are 100 per cent right.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re not an expert on the material or subject of the meeting. Of course, you should come prepared for the meeting with a few thoughts and talking points, but don’t get discouraged from sharing your opinion in the future if you’re wrong about something.”

Unless you speak up, you can’t fully thrive at work.

“There is a reason that certain people advance more quickly than others in their careers,” he wrote. “They have mastered the art of speaking up by having a balanced voice that their colleagues respect and admire.”

How to be more confident

But this is easier said than done. Getting over the fear of public speaking doesn’t happen overnight, but there are ways to slowly conquer this fear.

For starters, be prepared. “For introverts, the preparation they enjoy is what can build confidence and ensure success. Avoidance is the biggest trap because it blocks preparation.”

Do the research, practice your delivery and talk through your ideas with someone you trust. “People forget how helpful preparation can be for informal interactions. If you learn more about the people you are going to meet at a work reception, for example, you will be able to enter conversations with curiosity and context.”

Seek other ways to improve public speaking — most major cities have Toastmasters groups for example, or similar workshops that help people develop these skills. Some companies even have courses employees can take during work hours.

“Discover how much fun it can be to present in a low-stakes, high-support setting while honing your skills for a variety of speaking scenarios.”

For those days when you do feel extra nervous or not confident, remember that it happens to most people.

“Remember that most people are anxious about speaking in public, so go easy on yourself.”

 

As a Public Speaker, Can You Hold Your Audience’s Attention ?

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Even if you consider yourself a confident public speaker, one that has no problem speaking in front of an audience or group the question is can you truly reach them?  Many public speakers or presenters can get up in front of an audience and blaze right through their prepared speech or presentation, but how did they influence the audience or how effective was their presentation? Most every time someone gives a talk , presentation or speech they are trying to sell or convince or influence people towards a direction and most speakers think they have done their job by merely being the focus point of dispensing their pitch to their captive audience. Just because you as a public speaker just delivered what you thought was a “good presentation” in your mind,  and it probably was problem free as far as your nerves and confidence and content were concerned does not mean it was effective and that you had actually reached or connected with your audience.

As a public speaker, the purpose of getting up in front of an audience in  almost any situation is to be able to sell your point and most people want to deliver a successful presentation. Being able to reach your audience is an art or science depending on your interpretation and it is done first of all by hooking your audience with the proper title to address and issue with a solution that the audience came to hear. Secondly and equally as important you have to captivate your audience and connect with them.  Stories are the best way to connect and build rapport with your audience as a public speaker. Stories have the ability to connect and build trust with the audience, they also build credibility. For example – You tell a story about a horrific automobile accident during a speech to young drivers in a driver’s education class. You start out citing the day and time it happened , who was involved , a little bit about the actual crash and the result of the crash in detail. Most people will be able relate to certain specifics of this accident , maybe they would be familiar the part of town that it happened in , had a brush with the same kind of instance or heard a similar story of an automobile accident. The point here is that you are simply building rapport and credibility with any story you use in your speech or presentation that is the magic formula that gets the audience ‘s attention . You have to be able to relate to your audience in order to influence.

All great leaders and public speakers have the ability to relate to the audience in one way or another. They utilize their ability to draw the audience in to listen to them because they used the psychology to reach their audience by presenting a solution that the audience wants to hear, relating to them with stories that further build rapport and trust. If you do this you will be able to hold your audience’s  attention as a public speaker.