speech http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/6067/all en-US 7 Tips to Beating Fear and Becoming a Stellar Public Speaker http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/7-tips-to-beating-fear-and-becoming-a-stellar-public-speaker <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/7-tips-for-beating-fear-and-becoming-a-stellar-public-speaker" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/7-tips-for-beating-fear-and-becoming-a-stellar...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/7-tips-to-beating-fear-and-becoming-a-stellar-public-speaker" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000000347123Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Effective verbal communication is probably the one skill that can make you shine like a superstar in a few minutes. Brilliant speeches, sales pitches, and conversations <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/7-tips-for-proposals-pitches-and-presentations" target="_blank">only take moments to deliver</a>, but live on long after they are over.</p> <p>So it's safe to say, developing solid public speaking skills is not only important for business, but for life in general.</p> <p>Now, I can't claim to be the world's greatest public speaker, but I've had my fair share of chances to spread my message. And as the audiences have grown larger and the speeches longer, I've figured out a few things about the fear and nervousness that often accompany public speaking.</p> <p>Here are seven tips to keep in mind when preparing for and delivering a presentation.</p> <p><strong>1. Stay True to Yourself</strong></p> <p>Life is too short to spend time acting like someone else.</p> <p>Maybe you're not the perfect package. That's fine. Who is?</p> <p>Imperfection is part of being human. People respect someone who is humble enough to be themselves.</p> <p>This strategy is especially true if you're asked to talk about or promote something that you are morally or ethically uncomfortable with. In the end, all you have is your integrity. It's not worth sacrificing that for one speech.</p> <p>In the words of Shakespeare, &quot;This above all: to thine own self be true.&quot;</p> <p><strong>2. Keep It Short</strong></p> <p>Ask almost anyone and they will tell you that a short and clear speech is always better than a long one.</p> <p>Say your piece, make your point, and move on.</p> <p>Speaking at an event and worried you won't fill your time slot? Don't be. There was never a conference attendee was disappointed that the conference ran ahead of schedule.</p> <p><strong>3. Just Tell a Story</strong></p> <p>If you have no idea what you're going to talk about, then it's always a good idea to tell a story. In fact, even if you do know what you're going to talk about, it's a good idea to tell a story.</p> <p>Why?</p> <ol> <li><b>Stories are memorable</b>. People might not recall your main points an hour later, but they will recall &ndash; and retell &ndash; a good story for years afterward.</li> <li><b>Stories are meant to be told, not memorized</b>. You don't have to worry about messing up a word or not remembering every sentence. The nature of stories is to keep things natural and tell them in a conversational style.</li> <li><b>People associate their own meaning with stories</b>. This means you can tell one story and it might touch each person in the audience in a different way. This is powerful because everyone might not agree with a bullet list of points on a slide, most people can find something they enjoy in a decent story.</li> </ol> <p><strong>4. Pick a Topic That You are Actually Excited About</strong></p> <p>Don't speak about things you don't enjoy. It sounds simple, but why would you want to spend your time promoting ideas you don't believe in?</p> <p>This means you might have to say &quot;no&quot; every now and then. Saying &quot;no&quot; to a speech that you're not a good fit for is just as important as saying &quot;yes&quot; to the perfect opportunity.</p> <p>Put yourself in a position to succeed by focusing your efforts on events and venues that match your skills and passions.</p> <p><strong>5. The Audience Wants You to Succeed</strong></p> <p>Last year, I was getting ready to step on stage at a conference in Switzerland and deliver a keynote to almost 1,000 business leaders. Before I walked out, a friend looked at me and said, &quot;Remember, they want you to succeed.&quot;</p> <p>And he was right. Who doesn't want to hear a great speech? Who wouldn't want to hear a story they will remember for years? Who wouldn't want to discover a product, service, or idea that changes their life or business?</p> <p>The people you are talking to &ndash; whether they are business partners, potential clients, or total strangers &ndash; are looking for someone to cheer on. They want you to be the best thing that happens to them all day.</p> <p>All you need to do is put yourself out there. The audience is waiting to support you.</p> <p><strong>6. The Worst Thing That Can Happen... Really isn't That Bad</strong></p> <p>Sometimes you just need to take a deep breath and step back for a moment.</p> <p>If you're being honest with yourself, you'll realize how insignificant your fear really is. What if I had totally bombed that speech in Switzerland? What if I was booed of stage?</p> <p>Honestly, I'm not sure that much would have changed. I would have been bummed out for a day or two. Later I would have learned something from it. And later still, I might have turned it into a good story to tell in a speech about what not to say during a speech.</p> <p><strong>7. Tell the World to Stuff It</strong></p> <p>One reason we fear public speaking is because we are often seeking approval during a speech.</p> <p>We want our accomplishments to be noted and appreciated. We want our efforts to be justified. There is nothing wrong with that ... but we also need to remember to keep other people's opinions in the right place.</p> <p>While you don't need to take a me-versus-the-world approach, it is important to have enough courage to stand by your work and push criticism aside.</p> <p>Prepare the best speech you can and deliver it. If the audience hates it, they hate it.</p> <p>There's always another speech to give. Beating yourself up over imagined or hypothetical criticism won't help us give it.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/james-clear">James Clear</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/7-tips-to-beating-fear-and-becoming-a-stellar-public-speaker">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-techniques-that-can-help-you-conquer-any-fear">9 Techniques That Can Help You Conquer Any Fear</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-your-mind-can-make-you-rich">4 Ways Your Mind Can Make You Rich</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-habits-you-must-break-to-become-more-self-confident">The 5 Habits You Must Break to Become More Self-Confident</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-to-be-more-attractive-work-these-5-magic-words-and-phrases-into-your-vocabulary">Want to Be More Attractive? Work These 5 Magic Words (and Phrases) Into Your Vocabulary</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development Small Business Resource Center confidence overcoming fear public speaking small business speech Fri, 19 Aug 2011 21:01:51 +0000 James Clear 658257 at http://www.wisebread.com Sound More Confident in One Easy Step http://www.wisebread.com/sound-more-confident-in-one-easy-step <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sound-more-confident-in-one-easy-step" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/speech.jpg" alt="Man making a speech" title="Man making a speech" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="134" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I once took a class on public speaking. It's not something that I thought I needed, but it turns out that I'm a terrible public speaker. Most people are, but I always thought of myself as relatively eloquent.</p> <p>My instructor was a voice artist with over 50 years of experience working (mostly in radio commercials). The first lesson she taught seemed easy at first, but it took most of the students the entire two hour session to learn. But it's so simple and important that I felt it needed to be shared.</p> <h2>Tone: The Key to Confidence</h2> <p>Our instructor told us that when she hires voice artists based on video resumes, she only has to hear the first line of their introduction to know whether or not she can work with them. Usually, when a voice over actor tries out for a role, their recording begins with them introducing themselves saying their own name.</p> <p>My teacher said that she could reject 90% of the actors based on these first few words. In fact, she claimed that she could tell how confident the actors were based on how they said their names.</p> <p>To illustrate her point, she asked us all to introduce ourselves and tell the rest of the class what we did for a living.</p> <p>&quot;Hi,&quot; I said. &quot;I'm Andrea Karim, and I'm a writer &mdash;&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Stop right there,&quot; intoned our instructor. &quot;Why are you asking a question?&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Huh?&quot;</p> <p>&quot;When you told us your name &mdash; you said, 'My name is Andrea Karim? and I'm a writer?'&quot;</p> <p>&quot;That's just basic inflection. People talk that way when we have more to say.&quot;</p> <p>When you're telling a story, your tone will tilt upwards at the end of a phrase, indicating that the story is continuing (unless you're Canadian, in which case, every sentence is a question, eh?).</p> <p>This is actually perfectly reasonable during normal conversations. But as our instructor pointed out, upward inflection (indicating that there is more to come) also indicates that the most important thing hasn't been said yet. In other words, we haven't reached the climax of the story. When we introduce ourselves as &quot;Andrea Karim?&quot; we are putting less emphasis on our names &mdash; we're saying that our name, our identity, isn't important. It's not the main point.</p> <p>But it should be.</p> <h2>Make Your Name Count</h2> <p>Saying your name confidently isn't unusual &mdash; you probably do it all the time already. In a one-on-one introduction, you probably say your name with downward inflection, like a statement.</p> <p>&quot;I'm Andrea. Good to meet you.&quot;</p> <p>The reason we do this is because introductions are brief &mdash; we might only say our name and exchange a quick pleasant greeting before moving on. When you meet someone one-on-one, you aren't generally planning to say anything of great importance. Your brain is content to treat your name as the important statement that it is.</p> <p>But when you introduce yourself in front of an audience (or over voicemail), you start with your name and move on to something else. The result is that you may end up saying your name like it's a question, because your brain is already eager to move on, to your speech or song or poem or whatever it is that you are reciting in front of a group. You're not thinking of yourself as the main point.</p> <p>You should.</p> <p>When introducing yourself to a group of people, be sure that your name is a statement. Your first name should inflect upwards, and your last name should inflect downwards.</p> <p>It should sound more like &quot;My name is Andrea? Karim.&quot; Follow with a slight pause, then continue with the rest of your introduction. Actually, don't use my name, unless you want to be mobbed by thousands of screaming fans.</p> <p>Try it by yourself a few dozen times, and then try it out next time you have to give a talk or introduce yourself to a group. You'll be pleasantly surprised at what a difference it makes in the overall tone of your introduction.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sound-more-confident-in-one-easy-step">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-simple-negotiating-trick-puts-money-in-your-pocket">This Simple Negotiating Trick Puts Money in Your Pocket</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-retailers-where-you-can-negotiate-a-lower-price">11 Retailers Where You Can Negotiate a Lower Price</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-free-tools-to-improve-your-work-performance">The 7 Best Free Tools to Improve Your Work Performance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/never-order-fish-on-mondays-and-7-other-bad-days-to-buy-stuff">Never Order Fish on Mondays and 7 Other Bad Days to Buy Stuff</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-launder-money">How to Launder Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks confidence inflection introduction jobs projection sales speech Tue, 12 Jun 2007 01:37:51 +0000 Andrea Karim 720 at http://www.wisebread.com