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Public Speaking Advice
The benefits of communication are evident from the least sophisticated creatures to the most advanced as in humans.
Perhaps, among the creatures especially endowed with the power of communication, humans make use of them more intensely and with a purpose that each speech made has had some effect on the people who hears them.
Not only do humans use communication in everyday survival but uses it for a variety of reasons. It is used to inspire and to deliver important messages in a well-structured and equally measured manner.
In a recent survey, more than 90% among the 1000 American individuals interviewed are afraid of hosting a speaking engagement. 20% of them have at least done such acts and never want to do it again while 75% commented that there are people who are endowed with such skills and that public speaking should be reserved solely to them.
In a monologue lecture, one has to inform, influence, and convince people. This can only be done through the use of speech that is well crafted, revised and edited.
The above criteria can only be met if the speaker has a main purpose in mind, a tool to convey the very same purpose with a full consideration of the recipient audience.
In order for your speech to become as effective as you want it to be, you have to consider the four elements of the above activity, and tailor activities and strategies that will effectively drive your audience into believing everything you have to say.
Who/whom – Your audience is your best resource when considering in what manner you would want to conduct your speech. You should deliberately come up with a verbal address that is appropriate to your audience. Consider their age, level of education, place in the society, and your level of relationship with them.
Ron Kurtus, an experienced speech master, commented that your first and primary purpose of speaking is to communicate ideas that you think your listeners would like to hear; something that they want to internalize and be part of their lives and something which can they can use for their daily living and gain rewards along the way.
What – Your topic will provide you an effective idea and help you develop a talk which is most appropriate, timely and equally-relating to your listeners and spectators. Your topic can be as complicated as you want it to be as long as your audience is aware of the main topic at hand.
When – As you go along making your speech, you may want to ask yourself if the subject of your talk is timely or something which your audience could probably relate to.
You do not want to explain the science behind Alzheimer if you are talking to business folks who are looking for ways on how they can develop a procedure for managing their business and get warranted results.
In a sense, one has to consider if one has the opportune time to talk about things to their audience that will make a direct impact on how they view the world and the concepts surrounding your topic.
How – As today’s world becomes a place for entertainment, people expect their speakers to be lively and use strategies that will arouse their interest and help them better understand the complexities by which your topic is founded.
Dr. Stephen D. Boyd says that a 20 or 200 person audience is similar in terms of maintaining their interest on what you have to say. Speakers battle on the external factors which play in getting the attention of your listeners.
Listeners expect their client speaker to speak with vigor, humor, vitality, confidence, and animation. This can be in the form of creating something catchy like a surprising and unusual story, an unbelievable figure and/or your personal experiences.
If you are tired and emotionally stressed, your listeners can feel it. It is evident in your voice, in your actions and the way you move your hands and body. You will be physically restricted and repressed and could hardly do more to stir excitement among your audience.
While these and other factors affect the way you conduct your speech, it is important to follow several recommendations that will help you combat the consequences of your audience finding out your true physical state.
Vary your pace of speaking
Pause to make a point
Demonstrate gesture that is relevant to the idea that you are trying to point out
Employ facial expressions
Make sensible and purposeful movements
Perhaps, there is no effective way to deal with nervousness but to deal with it squarely. Everyone who’s in the business of public speaking understands the feeling of standing in front of the crowd and delivering your speech.
There has been no more dreadful experience as compared to speaking in front of a huge crowd. In fact, in more than 1,000 people surveyed in a certain study, they would rather jokingly prefer to die instead of participating in a public speaking engagement.
This provides evidence that more than 86% of people object to the idea of delivering speeches and conducting talks, which in turn exposes themselves to possible ridicule should mistakes arise.
Symptoms of Stage Fright
Let’s face it; nobody is perfect. Famous orators, statesmen, leaders of nations, and even the most well-read scholars become fidgety before and during speeches. This very same fact puts you on an equal level with them and confirms its normality.
Despite these facts, people sometimes find it difficult to handle such situations and end up ruining such an important event. Among the symptoms of the above conditions are the following:
Excessive perspiration (sweat)
Sudden drop in body temperature
Abrupt onset of sore throat
Dry lips and mouth
Skin starts to look pale
Trembling knees, lips and voice
Irregular breathing pattern
Overpowering Stage Fright
Before devising plans to minimize the effects of social phobia, it is best to identify the source of nervousness, why it occurs and how you could possibly lessen, if not ultimately abate such physical anxiety.
Just as experts in the field suffer from such feelings, ordinary people need not be overly concerned that they are alone. The truth is, such physical trepidity is a fact of life.
Swart, Margolis, and Den Boer, three authorities in public speaking, articulated on their views about speech and oration and the reason for the characterized physiological responses of people undergoing such processes.
They commented on the truth that people expecting humiliation and fear of public inspection and examination become overly saturating to the point where one is no longer able to deliver a quality talk.
Perchance, as long as you are alive and you are able to respond to the many things happening in your environment, the feeling of anxiety, nervousness, and fear arising from such a situation prevails.
Tips for Overcoming Stage Fright
Below are tips on how to get better with the dangers of public speaking. They are not meant to take away the feeling of panic during your speech but will, in a way, help you manage the stress associated with the situation.
You don’t have to follow all the recommendations listed below but choosing one or two or a combination of any of the ones which you think will work best for you is one roadmap to making your speech as perfect as you want it to be.
Don’t let the situation control you. Use that nerve to your advantage and walk with confidence with your speech as your effective tool in controlling others with your convincing remarks.
Take a Deep Breath – relax and focus on your breathing. This will ease up your stressed muscles and will help you concentrate on your speech.
Resist Intimidation – Forget speaking in front of people who are smarter than you. A university study shows that more often than not, more than 80% of your audience at a time does not have a complete background on your topic. This gives you a leading edge and puts you on a higher level of intellectual advantage.
Be Prepared – Nothing beats a well-prepared speech plan. Get enough practice and repeat it as many times as you can.
Ward Off Physical Distractions – Eliminate details which can cause confusion and distract you from your main business. Uncomfortable clothing and accessories that are irritating to the skin causes skin rashes. Wear light clothing or something which you are comfortable with.
Establish Eye Contact – Making eye to eye contact with your audience is the best way to deliver sincere and convincing oral discourse. It allows your audience to keep their attention on you and concentrate on what you have to say.
Choose the Right Food at the Right Time – Eat at least 3 hours before your actual speech. Food taken long enough before you do your talk perks your body up and provides you with the necessary energy to carry on the task of speaking.
The key is to face your fear, master your material, and rehearse.
Here are some helpful tips on how you can use rehearsing to eliminate the fear of speaking in public:
1. Know your material.
Prepare an outline of your speech and look for bits of information which could be a major point of interest.
Read about every aspect of the topic so that it will not be difficult for you to answer unexpected questions should they come up through the course of your discussion.
2. Have a “dress rehearsal” before the big day.
If you are making a formal presentation in a particular place, go to the venue a day ahead or several hours before the presentation to familiarize yourself with the surroundings.
If there is a rostrum, stand in front of it and test the height. Make the necessary adjustments so that the audience will have a clear view of you as a speaker.
This is also a good time to check out the equipment that you need to proceed with your presentation.
Create charts and photos for a slide presentation to make your presentation more informative and interesting.
Time is also important so you can have a run-through of the entire speech and record your voice while doing so. This would give you anidea of how long it will run. The recording will also reveal the focal points where you can vary your tone of voice for a more lively speech.
It is also a great idea to tape yourself or have somebody do it for you while you are rehearsing your actual speech.
Review the video and look for ways to improve your overall presentation.
Practice makes perfect, so it is very important to rehearse before giving out that all-important oral presentation and help you reduce your public speaking anxiety.
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