Whether you want to be a part time, full time, or BIG time public speaker you have to speak, speak, speak! At first, deliver 25-30 minute free talks to service clubs and community organizations. Consider this to be your "off-Broadway" tryout. This is a great opportunity to fine-tune your program and maybe get some future paid business!
Here are seven tips to help put you at ease when delivering a speech:
- Your speech should have a beginning, middle, and end. You have to grab your audienceís attention in the first minute, so begin with a starting comment, question, story, or humor. End your speech on a strong note by asking a question, providing a quote, telling a story, or simply leaving them laughing.
- Every 5-7 minutes, back up your facts with signature stories (about you or others). Stories are out there, everywhere in fact. You can find them in stores, at restaurants, on an airplane, and even at home. Most people retain information better when hearing a story.
- Practice your speech out load. Record it on a tape recorder and/or video camera. Also do this when speaking to a live audience. Do it each and every time!
- Practice pausing before and after important points, and donít be afraid to leave open space. The effective use of silence is an important requirement for becoming an effective public speaker.
- Use direct eye contact with the audience. If you focus on one person when making a point, everyone else in the audience will think you are speaking to them as well.
- Donít just stand behind the podium. Move around, gesture, be animated! (55% of how people perceive you is by body language; 38% by your voice; and just 7% by your words).
- Smile a lot. Be enthusiastic about what you are saying and have fun!
About the author:
Sandra Schrift is a 13 year speaker bureau owner and current career coach to emerging and veteran public speakers who desire to build a profitable public speaking business. She also works with business professionals and organizations who wish to master their presentations.
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