Effective public speaking.

Standard
  1. Visit the room in advance – ideally a few days before. If you do this means who will not be surprised by the room. It is one thing fewer to think about. You can test the acoustics.==========================

2. Mindset is vital. Do not be scared. Build it up. Speak to 1 person at a time and then to 5 people and then to 10, to 20, 50, 100, 300, 1 000 etc….

You can speak to one person so you can speak to a million. It is no different. The only thing to fear is fear itself as Roosevelt said.
Self belief helps a lot.

In the film the King’s Speech a true story was told of George VI. George VI was a king with a very silly voice and a hesitation problem. He was a deeply private person and forced to be king. He hated the limelight and was terrified of speaking in public but it was his duty.

George VI had to give a live speech to millions of people all around the world declaring war in 1939. His speech therapist gave him this advice;
”Forget about everything else and say it to me as a friend.”
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3. Prepare.

It is the boy scout’s motto; be prepared. You will feel a lot more self assured if you have prepared amply.

Have more than enough content rather than not enough. If you do not have time to use all your material you might have an opportunity to say it later on. However, if you run out of things to say very early this is bad.

 

It is good to wrote notes. But these must be bullet points. Do not read aloud every word of a speech. You need to ad lib up to a point. The notes are there so that you do not forget anything. If you get anxious and your mind goes blank your notes will save you. If you are nervous you can squeeze this piece of paper and channel your fear into that.

 
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4. Major ideas.
Have a few major ideas. List these at the outset. Then go through them in depth one by one. At the end remind them of these major ideas. You might have one thing which is vital. What is that vital sentence? If people should remember only one sentence of what you say what should that be? Say that crucial sentence in a memorable way perhaps with a rhyme.
Use a reasonably formal vocabulary. Who are you speaking to? Adjust it to suit the audience.
Do not use abbreviations unless EVERYONE will understand.
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4. Appearance. Make sure that your appearance is perfect. This will instill you with confidence. Your audience will respect you more.
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5. Eye contact. It is good to make eye contact. If you find this daunting look at foreheads. This gives the impression of eye contact without you actually doing it and being unnerved.
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6. No lengthy introductions.
Step up. Wait for quiet. Breathe and then start.
You can admit to nerves, this will induce sympathy for you among the audience. Self-deprecating humour helps.
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7. Speak slowly. You may have run through this speech myriad times. Your audience has never heard it. Allow them sufficient time to digest your words. Do not race through. Pause at punctuation. Elizabeth II is in some ways a superb public speaker because she speaks slowly, enunciates clearly and never mispronounces anything. Obama is a highly effectual orator because he pauses after every phrase which allows his hearers to process his words.
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8. Variety. Do not speak in a monotone – this is one of the failings of the Queen as a speaker. Make sure you vary speed, tone, volume. The rising and falling tone of Martin Luther King made him a peerless orator. Arthur Scargill spoke with a spellbinding rhythm and at the end of some phrases his audience was impelled to cheer.
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9. Enjoy it or pretend to.  Be confident or trick yourself into being confident.
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10. Do not fill time. If you have finished before set time that is ok. Running over set time can also be ok so long as it is only slightly. Public speaking can be a case of less is more.
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11. Strong finale. Make sure that you finish with a flourish. Repetition is good up to a point. The key ideas may need to be repeated but do not overdo it.

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12. Posture. Gesticulate a little. Vary your facial expression. Again this is an extension of your real personality. You do not have to act like someone else. Adopt an upright posture. Always stand up straight. Puff your chest out a little to open the airways. Be proud of yourself. You have something important to say so chin up! Scan across the audience. Look from side to side a little. This will animate your talk.

 

 

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2. Mindset. Build it up. Speak to 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 300, 1 000 etc….

Self belief.

”say it to me as a friend.”

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3. Prepare.

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4 major ideas.

write more than enough material.

Reasonably formal vocab. Who are you speaking to?

do not use abbreviations unless EVERYONE will understand.

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4. appearance.

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5. eye contact. look at foreheads.

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6. no lengthy introductions.

Step up. wait for quiet. breathe. then start.

You can admit to nerves. self deprecating humour.

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7. speak slowly. pause at punctuation.

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8. Variety. speed, tone, volume.

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9. Enjoy it or pretend to.  Be confident or trick yourself into being confident.

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10. do not fill time. If you have finished before set time that is ok. Running over set time can also be ok.

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11. strong finale. repetition.

 

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About Calers

Born Belfast 1971. I read history at Edinburgh. I did a Master's at UCL. I have semi-libertarian right wing opinions. I am married with a daughter and a son. I am allergic to cats. I am the falling hope of the not so stern and somewhat bending Tories. I am a legal beagle rather than and eagle. Big up the Commonwealth of Nations.

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