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Communication Strategies Company

Quick Tips

YOU Are Your Speech

You make the most positive impression by being YOU. By speaking naturally and even conversationally you project confidence. This quality is more appealing than the formal "I'm delivering a really important speech" posture often seen in business settings. Remember, you are not an actor playing a part. Try these easy suggestions to help you feel more comfortable being yourself. The following suggestions will help you communicate effectively.

DO

Immediately make eye contact with a friendly face. Hold that eye contact until you have completed a thought, feel comfortable and are in control. This should take a minimum of five seconds. Now try looking at small groups of people in the audience. Using eye contact, like any physical activity, takes practice and muscle memory.

Use gestures. Gesturing is an excellent way to channel nervous energy and control the fear of public speaking. When you move, you reduce your own stress. Also, the audience is obligated to follow your action.  Try using your body to support your message.

Speak louder than you usually do. High volume conveys high energy. Also, speaking louder can help with the fear of public speaking.

DON'T

Focus on what you want to change about your presentation style. Instead, work on identifying your best qualities. For example, have you received positive feedback in the past about your presentation style? Can you incorporate those suggestions now as you prepare for your presentation?

Warning: don't tell a joke with a punch line. Even professional speakers have trouble with jokes that hinge on the perfectly timed one-liner. Also, if you are nervous you will get even more nervous if no one laughs. Instead, go for humor that is light and spontaneous.

Psyche yourself up too much. It's important to care about your presentation and its outcome but be careful about having unrealistic expectations. Of course you want to do well but everyone can have an off day. Worrying too much can create the fear of public speaking.

 

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