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Expert Speak – How to master Public Speaking?

Sep 20, 2018 17:47 IST

Dale Carnegie, an American writer, lecturer and developer of courses on self-improvement, public speaking, corporate training and interpersonal skillsonce said -“Students of public speaking continually ask me, "How can I overcomeself-consciousness and the fear that paralyzes me in front of anaudience?"

His response used to be – ‘Did you ever notice in looking from a train window that somehorses feed near the track and never even pause to look up at thethundering cars, while just ahead at the next railroad crossing afarmer's wife will be nervously trying to quiet her scared horse asthe train goes by?’

How would you cure a horse that is afraid of cars—graze him in the back-woods lot where he would never see steam-engines or automobiles, or drive or pasture him where he would frequently seethe noise-creating vehicles?

Apply horse-sense to rid yourself of self-consciousness andfear: face an audience as frequently as you can and you will soon stop feeling shy.

You can never attainfreedom from stage-fright by reading about how to remove stage fright. A book may giveyou excellent suggestions on how best to conduct yourself in thewater, but sooner or later, you must get wet.You must swim to learn swimming. To plunge is the only way. 

WHY

Good public speaking skills are an essential part of achieving career goals and increasing success at workplace. Whether we are in a group discussion, in an interview, presenting in front of an audience, online meeting or talking in a team meeting, we have to speak in public from time to time. Our conduct during public speaking makes or mars our professional image. It strongly affects the way people think about us. This is the reason we are so conscious while talking in front of people.

STATS

About 10 percent of the population loves public speaking. That group experiences no fear and thrives in speaking in front of a large crowd.

Another 10 percent are genuinely terrified. These are the people who feel physically drained by even the thought of public speaking.

The rest of us – roughly the 80 percent in the middle – get butterflies, get anxious, don’t sleep much the night before – but we know that we’re going to live through it.

HOW

The good news is that, with thorough preparation and practice, you can overcome your nervousness and perform exceptionally well. Asa good public speaker, you can enhance your reputation, boost your self-confidence, and open up countless opportunities for yourself.

Having understood the importance of public speaking, let’s look at strategies for becoming a better speaker.

Before you deliver, you should be clear on what you want to say and organise the content of your speech accordingly.

1. Clarity – A good speech is like a pencil, it has to have a point.Be clear on what do you want to say and what is the message you want to give to the audience. Understand why it is important for you.
2. Organise – In school, , we were taught the format of writing a letter wherein it should have a proper opening, body and conclusion. Similarly we need to articulate our thoughts while speaking in these 3 sections.

After you have drafted your speech, you must

3. Prepare well and practice before you deliver. Pay attention to your body language. Stand straight, keep a good eye contact and smile. Have a good vocal variety. Be comfortable with using PowerPoint if you have to give a presentation. Take care of pauses and use them wherever necessary.

While you are delivering the speech,

4. Engage your audience appropriately. This makes you feel less isolated as a speaker and helps you quickly get comfortable. Take care of your body language and other criteria on which you focused while practicing such as eye contact, proper pause, gestures etc.
5. Take a deep breath if you feel you are getting nervous.
6. Think positive to make a huge difference to yourself and listeners. It will also help to reduce the fear you will start feeling confident.

Isn’t that simple!

Expect and accept the fact that you will feel anxious especially during the first few minutes of your talk. Focus on your purpose and your preparation will work wonders.

 

About the Expert:

Ms PiyushMahajan is a certified life coach and soft skills facilitator. She has over 11 years of experience in the GeoSpatial industry where she worked as a senior data specialist. Having found her life’s calling, she gave up a promising career as a Data Specialist and decided to become a life skills coach.

DISCLAIMER: JPL and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

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