Better Public Speaking

Rss

  • youtube
  • linkedin

Archives for : July2014

Delivering a Successful Public Speech

Public speaking used to be something many people try to avoid and even dread. The trend seems to be changing now. As more schools, colleges and universities establish public speaking or debate clubs, the people of “Generation Y” and probably “Z” appear to be more confident to speak in public nowadays.

It is also heart warming to observe many multinational corporations establishing Toastmasters Clubs in their organization for their employees. These employers have realized that it is crucial to train their employees in the art of public speaking in order to uplift the self-confidence of their employees.

During certain times in my life, I needed to deliver some public speeches. I therefore needed to learn the most effective way of doing this. In this article, I write about what I have learnt from reading many public speaking books and evaluating people delivering speeches. The knowledge that I acquired in the process has helped me to successfully deliver my speeches.

We may occasionally get overcome by nervousness before and during our presentations. This can cause our breathing to go haywire and eventually leave us gasping for breath. Your nerves will make your muscles contract and can make your chest feel heavy. Don’t be alarmed. This is natural. You are not going to get a heart attack.

When you feel nervous it is a good idea to speak slowly. Focus on breathing every six to eight words. Just take a few deep breaths before starting your talk to put yourself at ease.

When you commence your speech, ensure that you have a focal point in the room, which can act to give you reassurance. This could be a friendly looking person in the room. When you lose focus and forget your lines, just look at this friendly face for emotional support. By doing so, you will quickly bounce back on track.

Though I do plan and rehearse my speech thoroughly, I do not recite it word for word. It’s impossible to do so anyway. A wise man once said that there will always be 3 versions of your speech; the version you wanted to deliver, the version you delivered and the version the press said you delivered 🙂

Some orators prefer to just write down keywords or key subjects on paper which they keep in their pocket in case they need to look at it. This then ensures that they do not forget what they wanted to say. I prefer to write my speech word for word. By doing so, I can easily recycle my old speeches for future use by simply copying one paragraph from one speech and pasting it in another speech. This fusion enables me to create a totally new speech quickly.

However, do remember that while I write my speeches word for word, I do not recite it verbatim. The latter will make my speech sound robotic and boring.

If possible, I would prefer to start off my speech with a short joke, which can then act as an ice breaker. However, the joke needs to be relevant to the speech. I remember a speech I delivered many years ago. It was my last day at my place of employment. My colleagues had chipped in some money to buy me a farewell present. I then had to say a few words of appreciation to them. I knew many weeks in advance that this fateful day would arrive where I would have to deliver this speech. I felt quite stressed.

I was scheduled to speak for ten minutes in front of a hundred people. Here’s how I started. “I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the purchase of this wonderful gift. Those of you who did not contribute to it, I will see you outside later.” This joke bought me some time and helped me to relax. As some of my colleagues laughed, I felt more confident in myself.

I will share my other insights with you in my subsequent articles. I wish you the very best in your public speaking journey. Our paths will cross someday. When it does, please tell me your success story.

Related Thoughts on “english speech

The area under conversation “english speech” appears to be a perfect area of interest among our fans. Last week we documented to some extent a few requests via email to elaborate more on this issue. Rest assured that this vital point has been satisfactorily covered either directly or in a number of ways at the link on top. If you did not find in particular what you were looking for at the link above, it’s most likely that we did not fully grasp precisely what you meant by this question. The other likelihood is we may not be acquainted with the subject matter to converse on it in the first place.

All the best to you in all facets of your life 🙂

Liven Your Audience in a Speech Presentation – 3 Ways

Let us explore 3 ways to liven your audience today.

I once encountered an employee who refused a job promotion because the new job required her to speak publicly. If she had accepted the new post, it would have meant a 30% increase in her salary. Nevertheless, her fear of public speaking got the better of her. Today, she remains in her old job, happy, despite having to survive with a low salary 🙂

I am sure you have heard about the old adage that people fear speaking in public more than they fear dying. Before you repeat this phrase to anyone, know the origins of this saying first. A dubious research called the Bruskin Report was done in 1973 on the 14 greatest fears of Americans. Apparently, Americans at that time were most fearful of public speaking. For some strange reason, the findings of this research are still ignorantly repeated by many public speaking trainers until today.

Maybe at that time, dying was an abstract concept and appeared far away while the podium was right in front of them. Nevertheless, if you fear public speaking, you really can “grab the bull by its horns” and maybe you won’t enjoy it, but after a while, you’ll be able to get through it easier. Half of your battle is won if you just knowing what you are going to say, and anticipating what others are going to ask. Simple eh?

Here are 3 ways you could use to liven your audience

Has a boring speaker ever put you to sleep? As a speaker, have you put your audience to sleep? Your head begins to nod as you battle with the urge to slide blissfully into the Land of the Z’s. Has your mind ever wandered aimlessly during someone’s boring presentation? Although you tried to listen intently, what you were really thinking about were the many tasks waiting for you in the office.

Well, this has happened to me too, more than I would like to admit. God knows how many people I’ve put to sleep during my presentations too 🙂

However, prevent it from happening to you when you are the presenter. The key to keeping your audience alert is to involve them in your speech. Oh, yes! Studies have shown that the more you involve your listeners, the more they will be alert. Why? Because your engagement will enable them to absorb your presentation through more than one “sense”. The “sense” I am referring to here is the sense of sound, smell, touch, sight & hopefully taste.

You can involve your listeners in many ways. I have listed 3 of my favorites here. Try them all. Some will work well with your presentation and that feel genuine to you. If it feels uncomfortable, it will look uncomfortable, therefore don’t use it. To a large extent, some of the 5 senses mentioned earlier will be naturally incorporated when you employ these methods.

1. High-five

This is one of my personal favorites but it depends on the seating arrangement & the nature of your speech. If you ever feel like the energy in the room is dull, you can uplift it by employing this technique. Simply ask a question. Ask, “Is this good stuff? Yes or yes?” Your audience will have no choice but to respond with “Yes”. Then say “Then, turn to the person on your left and give them a high-five and shout ‘This is good stuff!’” Most people will enjoy it. However, if you have anyone who does not want to participate, don’t worry about it. They probably have their own reasons and we respect them for their reasons.

In some cultures, women are not allowed to touch a man. Therefore, be sensitive to such situations and use the high-five appropriately. The high-five approach would be most suitable for a persuasive or motivational speech.

2. Do Exercises

I learned this technique from the famous millionaire T. Harv Ecker when I attended his “Millionaire Mind Intensive” workshop. He said, “Let your audience to do some work.” To achieve this, break them into small groups with people that they don’t know and give them a task that is relevant to your presentation. Later, ask them to share their findings with the rest of the group and thank them for doing so.

This method will work fine for workshops that involves small groups of people. You will experience a logistical nightmare if you try this with an audience of more than 50 people. If you really need to do this for large groups, then its best that you have a few assistants to help you.

3. Give Them a Gift

Reward your listeners for participating, and they will be more than happy to participate even more. Simply ask a question and when someone answers it (correctly or otherwise), get the audience to clap as a sign of encouragement. You can go one step further by giving them a gift if you are dealing with a small crowd. I find that chocolate works best. Chocolates have the ability to keep people mentally alert. You will find that it becomes a game and people will compete for the chocolate.

I don’t use this for all my speeches because as I mentioned earlier, it depends on the size of the crowd and seating arrangement.

There are numerous other techniques to prevent your audience from slipping blissfully into the Land of the Z’s. What is paramount is for you to cook up as many different methods as you can imagine that are suitable for your audience and for you as the speaker. Believe me, your audience will thank you for your original creativity.

I wish you well.

Corresponding Thoughts on “english speech

The area under discussion “english speech” appears to be a perfect area of interest among our fans. Last week we documented somewhat a few requests via email to elaborate more on this issue. Rest assured that this central point has been satisfactorily covered either directly or in a number of ways at the link on top. If you did not find in particular what you were looking for at the link above, it’s most likely that we did not fully grasp precisely what you meant by this issue. The other likelihood is we may not be acquainted with the subject matter to speak on it in the first place.

All the best to you in all facets of your life 🙂

Time Management in Public Speaking

No one ever complains about a speech being too short. ― Ira Hayes You guessed right. Time and tide waits for no man.

Timeliness is a very important aspect of delivering a speech. By ending your speech on time, you are showing respect to your audience. If you have superb command of vocabulary, planned your speech objectives well and rehearsed it in advance, yo should not have any problems in ending your speech on time.

Under the best conditions, a person will concentrate on your speech for as many minutes as their age. A two-year-old child will listen for two minutes, a five year old will listen for five minutes, a fifteen-year-old child will listen for 15 minutes and so on up to the age of 20. After that, it tapers off. As a result, it is imperative to get to point within your allocated time.

I have not come across an audience who ever said “Man, I wish that speaker went over by 15 minutes.” Time limits are there for a good reason. Respect those limits to show you care about your audience.

Good Luck in your next presentation.

Now that you have gained some useful pointers on how to become a better public speaker, I encourage you not to stop here. Keep “sharpening your saw” by getting practical experience on public speaking. Grab the opportunity to speak in public as often as possible. The more stage time you accrue, the higher your self-esteem and confidence will become. Do purchase my book called Fearless Public Speaking at http://www.betterpublicspeaking.com/fearless-public-speaking-2/ This 11,500+ word book will give you more pointers towards becoming a seasoned orator. I look forward to that wonderful day in your life when you will become ‘complete’ and you will discover your true purpose in this world. May you discover it through your public speaking endeavors.

Complementary Thoughts on “english speech

The area under discourse “english speech” appears to be a perfect area of interest among our fans. Last week we documented quite a few requests via email to elaborate more on this issue. Rest assured that this focal point has been satisfactorily covered either directly or in a number of ways at the link on top. If you did not find in particular what you were looking for at the link above, it’s most likely that we did not fully grasp precisely what you meant by this issue. The other possibility is we may not be acquainted with the subject matter to speak on it in the first place.

All the best to you in all facets of your life 🙂

9 Tips for Handling a Question & Answer Session

How you handle a question & answer session can often be the crucial factor as to how your presentation is viewed upon. If you’re pitching for business, then you better handle the questions properly.

1. Be prepared for questions

– When you rehearse your sales pitch, anticipate what you’re likely to be asked and what your answer is going to be. If you have done the same presentation more than once, this should not be a problem anymore. Your previous experience in handling similar questions will give you the necessary confidence. You might not want to answer a particular question there and then, so think about what you’ll say to satisfy the audience. Perhaps giving them your email address & asking them to write to you might help. This is especially necessary for long winded questioners & equally long winded answers.

2. Set the rules at the start

– You may want to take questions as you speak or at the end of your talk. Whatever your decision, mention it at the start and stick to the game plan. I would suggest questions at the end of a particular subject & before moving on to the next subject. This will help the audience to fully understand the first subject before moving on to the next subject. If you take questions as you go, then your timing will be affected. You may also lose your train of thought & deviate from the original matter. Remember, your audience won’t forgive you for taking half an hour when you were only supposed to speak for fifteen minutes.

  • Interview Question: Tell me about a time you handled a difficult situation
    YouTube Video
    Interview Question: Tell me about a time you handled a difficult situation

3. Don’t keep the Q&A session to the end

– It is better to ask for questions five or ten minutes before the end, handle the questions and then sum up your speech for an elegant finish. This will ensure that you conclude your speech on your terms & not on the terms of the audience. Quite often, presentations finish on questions and the whole thing goes a bit flat – especially if you don’t get any questions from the audience. Worse still, what if you were facilitating a controversial subject in which the audience were hostile towards you? If you terminate your speech immediately after the Q&A session, you are going to increase their hostility towards you. Therefore, I would suggest that you summarize your speech elegantly after the Q&A session before you leave the stage.

4. Listen

– When asked a question, listen with your eyes & ears. Many people “listen to answer” instead of listening to understand. When you practice listening with both your eyes & ears, you will eventually learn to listen with your heart. When you listen with your heart, you will be able to answer from your heart. This ability will open a whole new dimension in communication skills for you. Your audience will simply love you because you now “seek first to understand” before attempting to be understood. The question may be something you’ve heard a many times before. Treat the questioner with respect and don’t trivialize their point.

5. Thank the questioner

– It’s only polite, it shows that you respect them and it buys you a bit more time to craft your answer. Thanking the questioner will also encourage others to ask questions. Hopefully, this is what you want… 🙂

6. Repeat the gist of the question

– The rest of the audience may not have heard the question so your answer may not make any sense to them. The people who did not hear the question could get mentally “disconnected” from you in the process. Again, repeating the essence of the question gives you more time to think of a good answer and it makes you look knowledgeable.

7. Answer to entire room

– Don’t get caught into having a one-to-one dialogue with the questioner. Remember, while the question may “belong” to the questioner, the answer belongs to everyone in the room. This is because the answer may be relevant to more than one person in the room. If they happen to be near the front then step back, look at the entire audience before answering.

8. KISS

– Keep It (your answers) Short & Simple. Some speakers, have the tendency to give long winded answers. This could be an indication that they are afraid to take on the next question. Therefore, they buy time by rambling. If you had prepared your presentation well, you should not be worried about handling questions. After all, if you don’t understand or don’t want to answer a particular question, you can always ask the audience to email the question to you 🙂 So don’t worry, be jolly 🙂

9. Don’t fake an answer

– If you don’t know the answer to a question, say so and promise to find out. Ask the questioner to leave his email address with your staff so that you can reply to him at a later stage with a proper answer. Your audience will respect you for your humility. It can even be a good way to make further contact after the presentation. Remember, there will always things you simply don’t know, and it’s pointless to try to talk your way out of a question. Frankly speaking, I’ve never had all the answers to all MY questions all my life. Therefore, if I can’t answer many of my own questions, I don’t suppose that I can answer every question from the audience.

It’s also possible that you may not be asked any questions and you then have that deafening silence. People may be digesting what you’ve just said and may require more time to ask. They may also be a bit shy and may take a few minutes to come out of their cocoon. Under such circumstances it is best to have a set of “frequently asked questions” to get the ball rolling. If you still fail to get any questions after you have exhausted all your FAQ’s then go straight into your summary and closing statement.

Handling a question and answer session well, demonstrates your professionalism and will reflect well on you. I wish you well in your next Q&A session. Remember, nothing beats adequate preparation so prepare well in order to heighten your level of confidence.

Be brave, just do. Be brave, be you!

Complementary Thoughts on “english speech

The area under discourse “english speech” appears to be a perfect area of interest among our fans. Last week we recognized quite a few requests via email to elaborate more on this issue. Rest assured that this area of focus has been satisfactorily covered either directly or in some way at the link on top. If you did not find in particular what you were looking for at the link above, it’s most likely that we did not fully grasp precisely what you meant by this matter. The other possibility is we may not be in the know to speak on this question in the first place.

All the best to you in all facets of your life 🙂