Monday, June 21, 2010

Public Speaking: Boost Your Confidence with Practice and Planning

Public speaking is a common fear among many people. However, with practice, you can boost your confidence and deliver a speech with skill and comfort.

As you prepare, think about who your audience is and ask yourself if those in the audience have any shared traits. Other things to consider are: What is the purpose of your message? Where will you deliver your speech (audio, video, and lighting needs might come into play depending on the setting)? How can you best deliver your message? Be sure to choose your words carefully, and don’t forget to use examples and visual aids, if applicable. You should even think about your tone of voice and body language, such as eye contact and hand gestures.

Below are a few more tips to keep in mind for delivering a successful speech:

  • Be prepared: Research your topic and practice your presentation in front of friends and family.

  • Organize your speech: Have a planned beginning, middle, and end, and be sure you stay within the time allotted.

  • Keep your message concise: Don’t attempt to share too much information or unnecessary details

  • Use language that your audience will understand: Stay away from uncommon words and technical terms, unless you’re confident your audience is familiar with them.

  • Grab your audience’s attention quickly: Plan a powerful introduction for catching your audience’s attention, but make sure it’s relevant and not just for dramatic effect.

  • Dress appropriately: Think about your audience and the setting, and dress for the specific occasion. Dressing professionally signals that you’re respectful of your audience’s attention and time.

  • Be yourself: The more you can deliver a genuine speech and inject glimpses of your personality, the more likely it is that your audience will relate to your speech.

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