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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Successful Public Speaking

Some useful tips on the art of public speaking:

There is a natural tendency to feel nervous before giving a speech, which is quite ingrained and healthy. It shows that one cares about doing well. But too much anxiousness can be detrimental. Here are some tips that may help to control the anxiety and make effective and memorable presentations:

Know the room

Arrive early at the venue and get yourself familiarised with the microphone and the visual aids. Walk around the room to become familiar with its size.

Know the audience

Greet some, if not all of the audience as they arrive. Remember it’s much easier to speak to a group of friends than to a group of strangers.

Know your material

If you’re not familiar with your material or are uncomfortable with it, your nervousness will increase. Practice your speech and revise it if necessary.

Try to relax

Ease your tension by doing some short relaxation exercises.

Visualize yourself giving your speech

Imagine yourself speaking, your voice loud, clear and assured. When you visualise yourself as successful, you will be successful.

Realize that people want you to succeed

Your audience wants you to be interesting, stimulating, informative and entertaining. Remember they are there to listen to you, and wouldn’t want you to fail.

Don’t apologize

If you mention your nervousness or apologise for any problems you think you have with your speech, you may be calling the audience’s attention to something they have not noticed. The best approach is to be silent about it.

Concentrate on the message –– not the medium

Focus your attention away from your own anxieties and towards your message and your audience. Your nervousness will dissipate.

Turn nervousness into positive energy

Harness your nervous energy and transform it into vitality and enthusiasm.

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