A Public Speaker is Effective if He or She is…

Let’s face it. Not many people are blessed with the gift of gab. Some even abhor the thought of having to face an audience to relate anything verbally. However, surely there are a lot of people who would like to master this skill.

Public speaking is not an easy task. But the good news is that it is not impossible to learn how to be good at it. How about learning the qualities of a good public speaker before going deeper into acquiring this precious skill. Here are the traits that a person should learn or adopt if he or she is planning to become an effective public speaker:

1. Resourceful.

A public speaker can’t merely rely on his or her stock knowledge. Knowing where to acquire new information and how to get it so that he or she can relay them to his or her audience easily is one valuable quality of an excellent public speaker. The preparation a good speaker makes does not end in his speech. Knowing an audience’s interests and level of knowledge is also a part of his resourcefulness.

Using props is something common with a speaker who is resourceful enough to know how some simple visual aids or items can evoke more interest from his or her audience.

2. Always updating his or her knowledge.

A very good public speaker is always thirsty for new information. He or she polishes her wisdom by reading, attending seminars, or doing any other kind of activities that would enrich his or her knowledge.

3. Humorous.

Oftentimes, it’s the sense of humor of the speaker that makes his or her speech a lot more easy to comprehend and remember. Incorporating a few jokes that would touch the interests of the listeners can very well assist a speaker in conveying the message of his or her talk. No one loves a boring speaker.

4. Confident.

Who would enjoy listening to a stutterer just because he or she is not comfortable speaking in front of an audience? When confidence exudes from a public speaker, the more enthusiastic the listeners become to understand what that person can help them learn.

5. Has a way with words.

A public speaker can’t be effective if he or she has a limited vocabulary stock. However, it’s not the wide array of high-falluting terms that can make a speech fruitful. One should know how to use “moving” words. Such are the words that touch a certain genre of people, e.g., hippies and hippie terms for those who have lived in the era, “jerks” as something negative for the teenagers, etc.

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Public Speakers and Tongue Twisters

You could say that tongue twisters are nursery rhymes for adults. Both have silly rhymes and like-sounding words and more often than not, they’re fun to say every now and then.

But what most people don’t realize is that both nursery rhymes and tongue twisters help develop reading and speaking skills for young children and adults, respectively.

In the case of adults, tongue twisters help develop a skill which experts call phonemic awareness or the ability to identify and manipulate sounds (called phonemes) in words that are spoken.

– Tongue twisters and your brain
For someone who speaks to an audience, working with tongue twisters to build on his/her phonemic awareness helps to develop better articulation and pronunciation of words.

As one learns to listen and be aware of sound patterns, the brain is trained to detect such patterns and reacts more efficiently in making the body produce that same sound.

For example, the classic Peter Piper twister develops the “P” and the “-er” sounds. But the training is not done on the oral cavity but rather on the brain that controls your oral functions.

As the brain listens to the sound, it processes the sound and aims to recreate it again and again until it has become established as a habit. Once that happens, you don’t have to consciously reproduce the sound, as it is second nature to you already.

– What are its implications in public speaking?
If someone is just starting out to learn how to engage an audience through public speaking, tongue twisters develop pronunciation skills. Clear and precise pronunciations make for clear and precise speakers. There is less chance your audience will mistake your words for another and the better you get at it, the better for your message and your audience.

When tongue twisters are exercised by reading from a card, an aural-visual connection is reinforced which trains the brain to respond faster in translating a visual cue (printed words) to sound (spoken word). This skill is especially helpful when reading from cards or teleprompters.

Another advantage tongue twisters afford public speakers is its exercise aspect that is helpful to relieve tension just before stepping on stage. It is akin to a warm-up for athletes before a competition as it helps loosen the muscles in the jaw that commonly tense up out of nervousness.

The task of learning how to speak in public does not need to be intimidating. Nifty tools like tongue twisters can actually help make the process more fun and enjoyable. And if that helps in making a speaker relax, the results translate into a well-delivered presentation that benefits everyone and not just the speaker.

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TIPS TO OVERCOME YOUR FEAR OF PUBLIC SPEAKING

Speaking with VIPs is such a nerve-racking ordeal, just as speaking in front of the public with a mixture of a crowd who’s educational qualification is more than yours.

But surely, this is not the only qualification that is being considered in public speaking. Being a speaker means being a subject matter specialist on the topic you are to discuss with your audience.

No matter how well-prepared you are, you will experience the “butterfly” thing in your stomach which can cause you to lose focus if left unmanaged. Unless you are cold dead, you will experience the nerves in you and feel the usual symptoms of delivering even the simplest pep talks.

You Are Not Alone

In two separate studies conducted regarding public speaking, it shows that more than 40% of the respondents are afraid of speaking in public and do not consider doing it in their lives.

In another related study of fear, 70% of the respondents ranked public speaking as something they will most consider as a panic situation. Additionally,, more than 80% of the surveyed population would consider dying instead of delivering an actual speech in front of a huge crowd.

No matter what the circumstances are, handling a speaking engagement requires skills, intellect and time management intertwined to produce the best results characteristic of experienced individuals.

Tips for a Perfect Speech

There are rules and there are rules in public discourse. While you are limited to your imperfections, there are things that you can do to speak in front of a large audience like a pro and create that good and lasting impression.

Not only will that effective and convincing speech delivery make you popular among the larger audiences, it feels good as well on your part for it is something that you can consider as part of your accomplishments.

Below are sets of guidelines and advice proven effective for people involved in such projects. It should be emphasized that none of these rules are effective for one person for every individual is unique.

Your personality will be your auxiliary tool in choosing which among the recommendations listed below works best for you and will also provide you with the best oratorical output possible.

. Fear is Human – To err is human, to forgive is divine, says the old cliché. While this old saying does not pertain specifically to public speaking, it gives an idea of human’s imperfection to everything else.

Although our technology has advanced a lot, our ability to commit mistakes is likely guaranteed. However, this same reason should not become a part of your excuse for unsuccessful delivery. Give yourself enough time to practice and master your piece!

. Practice – For every successful oratorical activity, there are three things a speaker has to put in mind: first is practice, second, practice, and third practice again.

No one can underestimate the power of a constant yet effective speaking drill. This helps you memorize your lines and master them paving the way to creating adlibs as you go along the way.

. Fill in the Bucket of Confidence – Confidence is what matters in any public speaking activity. Do not let the fear of a speaking presentation control you. Use these emotional and physical limitations to your own advantage and overpower performance anxiety.

. Expect Nothing But Perfection – Nobody is perfect just as your audiences are not perfect. People fear speaking in front of a large crowd because they are afraid to fail. In a number of studies in psychology, the brain has an inherent ability to store any emotions, be it negative or positive, in the subconscious mind.

The subconscious mind as you know, operates on a non-conscious level of brain activity. It functions without you knowing and creates activities that do not come from your normal willing.

If you convince yourself into believing that you can achieve perfection in your target activity, there is a greater possibility of achieving it. Your mind prepares your body for such an activity and operates as if it has done it before and you won’t feel as though you are new to it.

. Act as If No One is Watching – We sometimes fail because we set standards that are way too high for us to achieve. This limits us from achieving the level of success that we are capable of reaching and hinders us for further accomplishments in the task.

Your audience would definitely not want to see you trembling and communicate the sense of nervousness in yourself so you better hide it as much as possible. Do not make a big deal out of your own errors but instead move ahead and keep a positive outlook that everything will turn out just fine.

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The Use of Voice in Public Speaking

To be an effective public speaker, you need to communicate well your speech to the audience. You have to get their attention every time you are speaking. It is important in public speaking that the audience hear and understand the topics you are pointing out.

You have to know how to use your voice in public speaking. The use of voice may depend on the crowd who is listening. You should also consider the place or the venue where you are going to speak.

Always remember that you have to deliver your message clearly to your audience. Always be confident when delivering your statements and all words must be pronounced correctly. You may speak with a provocative approach. In this way, you may build your credibility to your listeners.

However, there are instances where you may experience some kind of fear or nervousness in public speaking. Sometimes you may experience anxiety when you stand up in front of an audience. You might even get awkward when speaking and tend to lower your voice. You may think to finish your speech much faster.

Nervousness is normal, especially when you are speaking in front of a hostile audience. You have to continue and just let your anxiety go away. Make yourself comfortable so that your audience can be relaxed as well. Take the opportunity to impress your audience. You are the main attraction of the presentation. Audiences expect you to give them all the important insights and ideas.

Your ideas can be unique enough to surprise your listeners, not knowing if they are satisfied with your public speaking. Some speakers tend to think that they will be judged badly and not all of your listeners will agree on what you are saying.

Be in control of things and do not think that they do not get the point of what you are saying. Be comfortable so that you will not make mistakes and lose your course on the topic. You might get humiliated if you do not have the confidence and guts for standing in front of them. The spotlight is yours and you must be yourself. You have to establish your own personality so that your audience will like you. In this way, you can show that you are able interact with them.

Public speaking is a challenging task. Nevertheless, if you have the personality and style a speaker must have, your audience will remember you and the things that you delivered to them. It is always a nice thing to hear claps and praises after your speech.

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Body Language is Effective in Public Speaking

Public speaking is a very important skill that kids need to enhance when in school. You need to have self-confidence to be an effective public speaker. Enhancing your public speaking skills is never a difficult task.

Treat your listeners as your friends and you will not feel any anxiety and pressure when doing your presentation. However, there are instances where you may encounter hostile audiences. If your audience participates and listens attentively, they would expect you to have a good result in the presentation.

You may encounter different kinds of people. You may find people that are helping you to build confidence in public speaking. You may think of ways to interact with them. You can also make some activities to involve them in any discussion. Always remember that even if they are not participating, you can always have a two-way communication in one way or another.

You have to give your attention to those people who are actively involving themselves in your presentation. You can easily distinguish those persons who are listening and interested. You may look at their facial expressions and body movements such as if they are nodding their heads. This means that they may agree to what you are saying to them.

There are also those audiences that frown and show their disagreements to what you are saying. If there are instances like this, you should be satisfied with the reactions you have created. This means that they are listening to you.

You have to point out the subjects and issues in your presentations. Keep them awake during the course of your speech. There may be times that you are a lousy speaker. Listeners will tend to sleep and be lousy as well. That is one thing that you do not want to experience in your public speaking.

You may ask rhetorical questions to keep them away from going to sleep. You have to include them by directly calling the name of the person when you are about to ask a question. If the situation is still at a lousy pace, you should change your strategy on the way you deliver the topic.

You have to be ready for any circumstance that may occur in public speaking. Eye contact with the listeners is very important in communicating with your audience. You can at least lend 5 to 10 seconds to each person in the conference room.

You may change the volume of your voice and be provocative in the way you speak. A lively speaker can create an active audience. Always remember that public speaking requires a lot of practice. The first time may not bring you a satisfactory outcome. However, that will make you improve as a public speaker.

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Can You Be An Effective Public Speaker?

Whether it is a group of 50 or 500, the question is still the same: Can you be an effective public speaker?

The answer is yes if you keep on mind some key points when it comes to communicating with your audience.

– First of all, prepare as much as you can because you can’t under-prepare for anything.
However, for your sake (and everyone else’s), a lead-time of about 2 to 3 days should be enough for a 20 minute presentation (this includes rehearsal time and putting together decent visual aids, when applicable).

– Get to know your audience.
Are they mostly children or young adults? Company executives or day laborers? Is it comprised mostly of men or women? Asking salient questions about your audience gives you ideas on how to tailor your message to them specifically so they can better relate to the topic.

– People remember 20% of what they hear, 30% what they see, and 50% of an audio-visual presentation.
That said, as much as your topic and venue can afford you, incorporate visuals in your talk. It doesn’t have to be a PowerPoint presentation or an overhead projector all the time. Sometimes, a well laid out chart to serve as a visual guide to the presentation will do wonders because the audience can see where you’re going with the talk.

– Get participation.
When people participate in an activity, their retention rate jumps to as high as 80 to 90 percent depending on the activity. Ask a member of the audience to come up to participate in an example you’re illustrating or ask them to repeat the salient points. The latter alone adds about 40 percentage points.

Now, on to you – the speaker.

– Feeling nervous is fine and to an extent a good thing.
It shows you want to perform well but you must harness this energy and put it into your preparation and put excitement into your delivery. You’ll find that as you become more adept in controlling your nerves, you’re able to take on more advanced techniques that will help your public speaking skills.

– Visualize.
Even before you step up to the podium, imagine yourself speaking to the audience and being great at it. A technique commonly used in performance athletes, this approach has yielded positive results.

– Finally, learn to enjoy the experience and not dread it.
This point alone improves your skills by a 100% which is great not just for you, but for your audience as well.

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PUBLIC SPEAKING TRAINING

Speaking engagements require great preparation, appropriate skills and attitude, time, and extensive effort that will help you grab your listeners’ attention and never turn their heads away until the end of oral deliberation.

Perhaps, more than enough preparation is one of the best things that gives the speaker all the necessary confidence in hitting the spotlight and begin belting out words which would stir, convince, inform, and inspire your audience.

As stated earlier, it is suggestive that preparation alone cannot be a prime factor in the speaker’s assured confidence and success in the delivery of unique talks.

Skills, attitude and a wide knowledge of the subject matter you are talking about can sure add up to the chances of winning your audience’s attention and respect.

However, it should be pointed out that speaking in public is no easy task for it requires your diligence and dedication and a clear goal toward the fulfillment of your goal and objectives.

Trainings

Practice is a number one tool in making your speech a big hit and gain a good reputation. The moment you stride along the stage towards the rostrum, the whole place is yours, meaning you are responsible for your client’s entertainment and educational or informational needs and wants as well.

If things turn out the way you did not expect them to and you are not well prepared to deliver your lecture, some of the following not-so-good symptoms will surely manifest:

. Your hands get cold
. You sweat profusely
. Trembling lips and hands
. Increased palpitations
. Stuffy throat
. A dry mouth
. A feeling of nausea, among others.

Interestingly, whether some people have made a huge preparation for the event, they still do not manage to get away from the obnoxious symptoms of the fear of public speaking and consequently are unable to concentrate and therefore fail as a result.

While these details are typical symptoms of delivering a public speech, taking into consideration that more than 75% of people have expressed fears of it as in the case of glossophobia (fear of public speaking), experts in the field of public speaking recommend one to take trainings that will effectively enhance one’s public oratorical skills and help you achieve the results you want.

Drawing from the length of time observing the evolution of oration, public debate and speech, speakers of today have taken up a whole new strategy in holding such events and moving away from the more conventional and stiff rules surrounding the old way of speech delivery.

Performance assessments are not based entirely on how well your speech was crafted but rather on how you were able to deliver it in a way that your listeners understand it and remember at least some of the details of your speech.

According to a recent national survey, audiences of today are more concerned on how the speaker delivers his message more than they are interested in the content of the message they have to convey.

More than 60% of those interviewed commented on the speaker’s educational qualification or expertise while more than 93% of the surveyed population considers the speaker’s relative adaptation to the nature of the client audiences an important factor in a successful informational or motivational talk.

Invest and Learn

Experts indicate that schooling alone does not satisfy the client’s need to improving one’s ability to deliver interesting talks.

Conventional schools encourage the “old school” type of giving speeches. They emphasize more on the satisfaction of rules that tends to corrupt your speech of the necessary elements that helps to getting your listeners’ attention.

Joining speech clubs are the way to go if you are working your way to enhancing your relative speaking skills towards the proper delivery of your oratorical talks. Among the most popular are Toastmasters International, Rostrum, and International Training in Communication.

Additionally, browsing through international speech forums were also proved helpful because many of the most updated ways and strategies in improving your speaking skills are talked about and discussed completely with full freedom.

Watching international contests such as the North American Public Speaking Championship will also help you compare how effective and convincing speakers carry out their strategies which makes them good at their craft.

If you are someone who can afford the fees associated with individualized training, you may want to try the one-on-one coaching instructions.

Professional individuals who are adept in public speaking will give you insights on how you can work on your opportunities for improvement and advise you on several techniques that will help you give justice to the speech you are to deliver.

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Visual Aids as Public Speaking Tools

In public, you may display your thoughts and ideas by using visual aids. A prop is used as an object in a particular presentation. These items support you in your public speaking. The whole lecture itself is considered a prop. Chairs, pens, overhead projectors, markers, and other audio visual aids are all forms of props. This simply means that a prop is the same as a visual aid.

There are many kinds of props which you may use for a successful presentation. This can be a good substitute for an introductory statement. This can also generate a more interesting approach to the audience. These props can be a good warm up for your listeners such as displaying some colorful drawings and graphs as your visual aids.

Using visual aids can help you concentrate and guide you on the presentation points you are delivering as well as guiding your listeners. They may follow the outlines and the topic points that are in the visual aid.

It is a very good tool in getting the attention of your listeners, instead of using handouts and notes. You may make a presentable approach by using a computer-generated power point. This prop can create a more interactive connection.

Many of your audience can be visually oriented and relate more to what you are saying. It allows your audience to understand well the points you are referring to because you have added variety and interest by using well-displayed illustrations.

You can use other props for presentation. You may pass them around for an anticipated and exciting presentation. You may encounter this in large venues where a box or a ball is being passed around in the audience.

You may also distribute some snacks while they are looking at the crossword puzzle you have on the visual aid. Drawings and puzzles are very good choices for icebreakers. If you have grouped them, the members can help each other and work as a team to find a solution.

Props are a very good substitute for notes and handouts. You may display illustrations in seminars and workshops as outlines in your presentation. You may also project a photo of a specific thing during a public speaking presentation.

Be sure that everybody sees it and has a good a view of it. Even when you are using visual aids, you have to make sure that you focus on your audience and make the audience also attend to the things you are saying. Visual aids are important in making you an effective public speaker.

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Note Cards and Outlines as Public Speaking Tools

In public speaking, you need to consider using notecards and outlines as your guide in your presentation. It is important that you make an outline on how will you deliver your public speaking.

You have to find an interesting subject for discussion. You must have full knowledge on the particular subject that you will bring up to your listeners. A topic must be considered to be educationally sensitive, worthwhile, appropriate, and have a limited scope.

You may choose a pattern of organization that includes a beginning, middle, and an ending. This serves as your outline on how you will address your public speaking.

You can use different strategies and techniques for the audience’s active participation and involvement. It is not recommended that they will only listen to you and you will do the talking alone.

It is important that you are creative in delivering a worthwhile speech for a much-appreciated presentation. You may start by following the outline you made to make a well-organized speech. Here are steps on how you will outline your speech:

1. You have to know your purpose and objectives on the particular topic that you will discuss. You may set a goal on how they will benefit and what they will learn on that particular topic

2. You must choose an interesting topic to be discussed. It should be delivered with full knowledge. You must have references and handouts for a more convenient presentation.

3. Gather all the necessary information that can be brought out during your discussion. Entertain questions and involve your audience in activities.

4. Make an organized outline. This can guide you to keep track of the time that was allotted to you. It is important that you follow the outline to have a more organized discussion.

5. Have a working outline. This is one important tool in delivering your speech. You may include notecards to keep you on track during the discussion period.

6. Make a lively introduction. You have to get the attention of your listeners and make your presence felt. You have to establish your credibility before you start your public speaking.

7. Make conclusions that can make an impact on the whole presentation. You need to consider if they have questions or suggestions that they may want to bring up. It is important that you have met all of their expectations and learned on the topic.

8. You may consider documenting your work and giving your sources the credit they deserve.

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Handouts as Public Speaking Tools

Handouts are important tools for effective public speaking. They serve as guides for your audience. Handouts will allow the listeners to follow what you are discussing. Handouts are important and should be well prepared.

When giving out the handouts to your listeners, remember to choose the right time. It is not recommended to give them out right away at the beginning of your speech. This will only make the listeners tend to lose focus. It is important in public speaking to catch the attention of your audience at the start of the speech.

Also inform them that you will be giving out handouts so that the listeners will need not to take down notes while you are talking. Making handouts available will make your audience focus and absorb everything that you say. That is because writing while listening to your speech will only divide their attention.

You may want to use colorful papers if your audience is also kids. Adding drawings can also make it interesting but do not use too much or else they will only concentrate on the drawings that they see.

On the handouts, you can include the objectives of your speech and the things that you expect from your listeners. Do not put the entire speech on the handout. If you put everything that you have to say on the handouts, the listeners will no longer listen to you.

You may also place in it the outline of your speech, a brief introduction and the things that you will discuss. You may also want to include the start time and the end time of your speech and allocate the time when they would like to ask questions. This will allow you to follow your outline and they may reserve their questions for the time you listed on the handouts.

You can also incorporate some activities at the end of the handout. Put a space where they can write and jot down the answers on the activity that you will put at the end of the handout. Adding a space where they can write is also effective so that they may be able to jot down some important points that you have mentioned and are not listed on the handouts.

At the end of the handout, you may also include some information about yourself. You may put your name, nickname or even hobbies to add some spice. This is one way that your listeners will be able remember you by.

Handouts are very beneficial to making you an effective public speaker. Make them ready all the time and make sure that they will last. Handouts are ways that your listeners can remember you; that is why it is important that you make them unique and valuable.

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