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Category Archives: Improving Speaking Skills

The 5 Ws and an H of Public Speaking

questionsIn any presentation, there are basic pieces of information that an audience expects to receive from the presenter. You are the problem solver presenting a solution that will benefit your audience.

Even if you are just blessing the newlyweds at your best friend’s wedding, you still have questions that must be answered. These questions are the classic five Ws and an H: who, what, when, where, why and how. Read on to better understand what I mean.

Who?

Who is your target audience? What would they like to know about your topic? Do they have any preconceived notions about your material? What are their concerns? Are you addressing the “who” you targeted in your research?

When you address the “who” of your message, you are better able to relate with your audience. They will feel like you are speaking directly to them. They will give you their attention because they feel like their needs are being addressed.
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Public Speaking Training

public speakingAre you a natural-born good speaker?

Unless you just took to the stage like a fish to water, you are more likely to be among the majority of the population that takes to public speaking more like a newborn calf — wobbly at first, but gaining ability through experience.

You don’t need to be born with the gift of eloquence in order to be good at public speaking. Like a lot of skills, public speaking can be learned. And, luckily enough, there are plenty of training opportunities available to you. Here are just a few:
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Easy Ways to Remember Your Material

Easy Ways to Remember Your Material

One of the most common reasons people fear public speaking is that they blank out and forget their entire speech. I remember when I was competing on the speech team in high school, I did a speech on memory. In the middle of the speech during the competition, I blanked out and ended up saying something stupid like, “And it does this [blanked out, paused] for many reasons.”

Arg!

Easy Ways to Remember Your Material

Sometimes it feels like you can practice and practice and practice and when the moment comes that you need to remember your presentation, everything goes blank!

However, there are ways that you can fool proof your message so that the parts you actually have to memorize are minimal. You do this by incorporating triggers into your presentation. These triggers can be things like power point slides, props, and stories that you scatter throughout your speech.

What the triggers do is prompt you to talk about the next point in your presentation. The triggers also serve as a spring board for helping you remember what to say next. There are four primary ways to remember your presentation.
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Achieving Success in Professional Speaking

Achieving Success in Professional SpeakingThe real success of every presentation is leaving your audience with something of value. What do they get out of spending time listening to your presentation?

Many people believe that they need natural brilliance in speaking and presenting well. They believe that they need to be polished, smart, witty and charming all before they actually start to build a speech. Those attributes can come naturally, but most often, they come as a result of passion, knowledge and practice.

One of the most important factors in a successful presentation is serving the needs of your audience.

Going back to the idea that you need to leave your audience with something of value, caring for your audience’s needs doesn’t require perfection.

You can make mistakes during your speech and it’s going to be okay.

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The Speaker Sets the Message's Tone

The Speaker Sets the Message’s Tone

As a professional speaker, everything you do the minute you walk into the room sets the tone for your message. Without even speaking one word, you can determine just how many people you will reach because their engagement with your message depends on you; not on them. You can have a great topic and great presentation skills, but if you are not able to communicate the passion you have about your topic, none of it really matters.

The Speaker Sets the Message's Tone

Expect the Best
Go before your audience expecting to make an impact. People aren’t interested in what you know. They want your information for themselves and passion is the “grease” that lubricates that passage of information.

  • Do you expect your audience to receive what you have to say?
  • Do you communicate that you’re excited to be there and you’re excited that they are there as well?

Be Mindful of Your Audience
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