Tips for Public Speaking

How to find your confidence. [http://www.toastmasters.org/tips.asp]

Feeling some nervousness before giving a speech is natural and even beneficial, but too much nervousness can be detrimental. Here are some proven tips on how to control your butterflies and give better presentations:

Know your material. Pick a topic you are interested in. Know more about it than you include in your speech. Use humor, personal stories and conversational language – that way you won’t easily forget what to say.

Practice. Practice. Practice! Rehearse out loud with all equipment you plan on using. Revise as necessary. Work to control filler words; Practice, pause and breathe. Practice with a timer and allow time for the unexpected.

Know the audience. Greet some of the audience members as they arrive. It’s easier to speak to a group of friends than to strangers.

Know the room. Arrive early, walk around the speaking area and practice using the microphone and any visual aids.

Relax. Begin by addressing the audience. It buys you time and calms your nerves. Pause, smile and count to three before saying anything. ("One one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand. Pause. Begin.) Transform nervous energy into enthusiasm.

Visualize yourself giving your speech. Imagine yourself speaking, your voice loud, clear and confident. Visualize the audience clapping – it will boost your confidence.

Realize that people want you to succeed. Audiences want you to be interesting, stimulating, informative and entertaining. They’re rooting for you.

Don’t apologize for any nervousness or problem – the audience probably never noticed it.

Concentrate on the message – not the medium. Focus your attention away from your own anxieties and concentrate on your message and your audience.

Gain experience. Mainly, your speech should represent you — as an authority and as a person. Experience builds confidence, which is the key to effective speaking.
 
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Better Public Speaking & Presentation


Ensure Your Words Are Always Understood
 
There are many things you can do to ensure that your verbal messages are understood time and time again.

Although somewhat obvious and deceptively simple, these include:


Keep the message clear.


Be prepared.


Keep the message simple.


Be vivid when delivering the message.


Be natural.


Keep the message concise.

Preparation is underrated. In fact, it is one of the most important factors in determining your communication successes. When possible, set meeting times and speaking and presentation times well in advance, thus allowing yourself the time you need to prepare your communications, mindful of the entire communication process (source, encoding, channel, decoding, receiver, feedback and context). By paying close attention to each of these stages and preparing accordingly, you ensure your communications will be more effective and better understood.

Of course, not all communications can be scheduled. In this case, preparation may mean having a good, thorough understanding of the office goings-on, enabling you to communicate with the knowledge you need to be effective, both through verbal and written communications.

being prepared: Guidelines for Thinking Ahead:

Ask yourself: Who? What? How? When? Where? Why?

Who are you speaking to? What are their interests, presuppositions and values? What do they share in common with others; how are they unique?

What do you wish to communicate? One way of answering this question is to ask yourself about the 'success criteria'. How do you know if and when you have successfully communicated what you have in mind?

How can you best convey your message? Language is important here, as are the nonverbal cues discussed earlier. Choose your words and your nonverbal cues with your audience in mind. Plan a beginning, middle and end. If time and place allow, consider and prepare audio-visual aids.

When? Timing is important here. Develop a sense of timing, so that your contributions are seen and heard as relevant to the issue or matter at hand. There is a time to speak and a time to be silent. 'It's better to be silent than sing a bad tune.'

Where? What is the physical context of the communication in mind? You may have time to visit the room, for example, and rearrange the furniture. Check for availability and visibility if you are using audio or visual aids.

Why? In order to convert hearers into listeners, you need to know why they should listen to you – and tell them if necessary. What disposes them to listen? That implies that you know yourself why you are seeking to communicate – the value or worth or interest of what you are going to say.

Be concise. Be brief. Use short words and sentences. Where appropriate, support these with short, easy-to-understand examples, which help demonstrate your message.

[http://www.mindtools.com/CommSkll/PublicSpeaking.htm]