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Sunday, November 4, 2007

V-Tip: Public Speaking

Got selected for toastmaster/toastmistress?
(don't wanna be sexist... :p)

Legs tremble in front of an audience?

in some extreme rare cases...

You wet your pants while trying to deliver your message?

What can you do to overcome stage fright?
  1. Learn your subject well.
    Fill your mind with information about your subject. If you put in the time to do proper research, you have won half the battle. Your confidence grows along with your knowledge of your subject. But be prepared – that the nervous stomach of yours may not disappear until you actually begin speaking, so do not expect to be anxious-free.

    Actually, some nervousness is good; otherwise, you may become over-confident. However, when you have something to say, and you know what you are going to say, your confidence will shine through.

  2. Be the expert.
    If you have studied, done the research and are properly prepared, then you are the expert. You assume the role as the instructor. Develop the mindset that you are the teacher who is teaching them. You are not being arrogant when you assume the position as the expert. You are simply having the attitude that you have paid the price to speak about your subject and you will deliver.

  3. Never apologise.
    Do not begin a speech by saying you are sorry for being unprepared. As soon as you do, you have the right to speak. You should never start a speech with any kind of an apology. If you are late or lacked the time to prepare like you wanted, simply do not mention it. Just get started with your speech.

  4. Begin your speech without words.
    When you walk up to the platform to make your speech, pause before saying anything. Look your audience in the eyes.

    When you approach the beginning of your speech in this manner, you communicate to the audience that you are in control. You appear not to be nervous and everyone begins to feel secure. They will be more likely to receive your message.

  5. Take your notes, but not your manuscript.

    You will want to take your outline. This will give you a sense of security. You have studied. You are prepared. The outline will be there to guide you. It will help you stay on track.

    But if you take the manuscript, you will have a tendency to read too much. You may even get lost in all of the writing you have before you. Consequently, you may find yourself filled full of fear.

    Do not attempt to memorise your manuscript either. You may forget where you are in your speech. Your mind may go blank, or you may simply look very unnatural as you deliver your memorised script.


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