Thoughts on speaking technique….
- Monotony…monotony can be achieved in many ways, but it’s all talking in the same way using one pattern…
- too much force
- not enough force or volume
- singsong pattern in speech
- too many statistics
- milking the subject by repetition
- Euphony… the musical quality of your speaking voice. This does not mean that you sing a presentation, but you do vary your pitch.
- Open your mouth… when you don’t your nasal and this is most distracting. Make your mouth open as you speak.
- Pause now and then… there’s much more emphasis in a pause than there is in a shout or bang.
- Check your breathing… is it audible? Check yourself over telephone with the help of a friend… previous amplified more the phone instrument. No one likes to hear you gasping between words or phrases.
- Check your resonance… if the holes in your head become clogged in any way. A thickness or muffling of the voice results put special emphasis on pronunciation of vowel sounds…. consonants are merely activities rather than actual sounds.
The Pause….Grooming…. Food ….and Speaking
During the Pause, you can….
- breathe instead of gasp
- quiet those butterflies
- swallow and lubricate your cotton-mouth
- step to the right or left and quiet your shaky knees
- breathe deeply to fill your lungs with fresh oxygen and clear your foggy brain
- smile at your audience and see them smile back to you
- a pause can be your precision tool…. and remember that fear feels worse than it looks!
- before speaking stop and count to 10 slowly …punctuate your sentences
with effective pauses to emphasize a point …pause to control your
audience…When you are through, even though you may feel like running
to your seat …pause…
- look yourself over… where the style that is right for you
- never wear more than a combination of three colors… two are even better
- if you’re jacket buttons, button it
- be sure your bag and shoes match in texture and color
- beware of your noisy jewelry
- practice in front of a mirror to be sure your appearance does not distract from you
- lettuce and raw vegetables are hard to digest…they can add gas and press on your diaphragm
- starch such as potatoes breading gravy also cause gas
- protine is easily digested as are cooked vegetables
- ice cream coats the lining of your mouth and throat, leaving it is slick feel causing phlem
- alcohol doesn’t mix any better with public speaking, than it does with gasoline…
Move smoothly from introduction to the development of your main points when you’re speaking….
- State each main point clearly…. and develop them smoothly and easily… tell your audience where you are going to take them.
- Illustrate each point vividly… use examples, stories, comparisons, etc.
- Use imagination to expand possibilities suggested by the illustrations… personal experiences with those of friends are easy to work up…. tell a story.
- Don’t exhaust all possibilities… stimulate your audience to think as well. Audiences like to think, but not too much.
- Prove your point… use statistics, actual experiences and quotes.
- Restate each main point for emphasis before going on to the next point… transitions are key. Your challenge is to repeat your point without the audience realizing that you are repeating.
- Don’t forget to tie the beginning and the end together…
The next caution is to maintain a high level of interest….
- Humor spices up the presentation… but no one wants a full meal of spice
- Be sure each story or illustration makes a point which advances the theme
- Use easy, short quotations to support your points
- Be enthusiastic… enthusiasm is contagious!
- Familiar situations used as illustrations make the best comparisons and keep the audience awake!
Impressions really count…
Just as first impressions are of prime importance when you first meet someone, so the opening words of your presentation will either solicit the interest of the audience, or turn them off. Once interest is aroused, it is fairly easy to retain, but to have to regain it in the middle of your presentation is practically impossible.
Therefore, a clever beginning, which is tied to a clever ending, and both related to each other… is the only answer. Making a good beginning or the big entrance requires the following…
- Be confident-don’t apologize
- Outline your direction… tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and tell them what you’ve told them.
- Go to the lectern with energetic flair, don’t drag your feet
- If you want a friendly audience… be friendly
- Acknowledge your introducer by name and find something good to say about your introduction
- Pause when you reach the lectern and podium, look at the audience, and smile
- Begin with something special—a story, an anecdote, a question, a strong statement, a description.
- Stress the importance of the subject… before you are through, they should feel they couldn’t have lived without it
- Challenge them to action
- Outline action they might take
Remember…. if you can carry on a conversation, you can make a presentation…. we never talk to an audience; we talk with an audience…
The introduction of a presentation has two basic purposes it must fulfill…
- Arouse interest in the topic of the presentation
- Provide necessary information to make it possible to follow the presentation easily
Before beginning, you must choose a topic
- One for which you can project real enthusiasm
- One which suits your audience
Remember, a presentation is like a journey and it must have a destination. The purpose of your presentation must be determined before the introduction can be prepared. Will it be:
- To interest or amuse?
- To inform or instruct?
- To stimulate or impress?
- To convict or persuade?
Don’t apologize for your beginning or your ending, and especially not your choice of subject!
And don’t say thank you at the end to your audience. They should be thanking you.
Finalize in your ending what you set out to do in the beginning…. then tie the beginning and the end together with a big ribbon and sit down…
you have delivered your package in good order!
- Stand up
- Speak up
- Say it
- Say it again
- Sit down ( shut up)
Every speech maker must have something to say….
If you do find a spark which will fire your listeners to growth, change and/or action, you will need to provide a target toward which they may aim…
The topic you pick must inspire you, and in turn, inspire listeners. Therefore…
- Pick a definite subject of theme
- Research the topic and know it well
- Think each point through
- Make notes, but do not write out the presentation word for word
- Organize your notes in a logical order
- Write down a main series of points
- Discard materials accumulated that do not contribute to the development of your points
- Don’t look lightly on personal experience or examples
- General quotations, facts, general statistics, some humor… are all important
- Ideas are nightstalkers… be prepared with pencil and pad at your bedside and throughout the day
Learn for yourself, then practice for yourself, and your abilities to express thoughts will rise to great heights.
When you practice speaking, trying to say everything in the same order tends toward memorizing, which is often stiff and uninspiring.
Remember the audience only hears what you have to say once, and they will never know what you intended and what you didn’t do or what you left out…. unless you tell them…. so do not.
Remember to use an outline, and not verbatim notes.
Be willing and able to speak with some measure of flexibility and not from memorization only.
Below are some ingredients for building relationships with people that last a lifetime.
Being relational in your approach to life and people is the key to joy, satisfaction, and true success.
Some of the elements of this lifestyle philosophy and approach …..
- Take no one for granted
- Thank people often
- Always smile
- Let go of old baggage and move on
- Listen and hear people out
- Behave in ways that make people feel important
- Be adaptable in how you relate to people
- Communicate positively
- Be attentive, intentional, and empathetic
- Take the initiative
- Focus on the other person’s opinion, interests, and agenda
- Build positive relationships with intentionality
- Make people your passion versus projects, money, or success
- Act as a relationship catalyst–introduce people often
- Praise and encourage positive behavior
- Live the behaviors you want others to express
- Have an original sense of humor
- Be quick to forgive, slow to speak, and slow to get angry
- Speak your truth
- Be accountable and accept responsibility
- Resolve conflicts quickly
- Make the right choices-it is never the right time to do the wrong thing
- Be enthusiastic, energizing, uplifting, and catalytic
- Always act with kindness
Be authentic, transparent, real, vulnerable, and just yourself… people will likely find you irresistible.
Consider these other ways to deal with your stress…
- keep a stress journal… identifying the major causes of stress helps to avoid or handle them more effectively. Track the occasions that were stressful or triggered anger or anxiety, and see if you could have altered or avoided the circumstances.
- Get a massage… have a friend or a spouse do it if you can’t afford a professional. Massage appears to slow down heart rate and relax the body. You may find yourself feeling more relaxed prior to your massage-just the anticipation can be relaxing.
- Adopt healthy habits… unhealthy habits arise from being stressed out. Add some healthy habits like walking, eating fruit, drinking lots of water, and getting seven to eight hours of sleep per night.
- Curb caffeine… stimulants such as tobacco and caffeine rev the nervous system which increases stress. They are also addictive, which can leave you feeling anxious until your next fix.
- Meditate… take time to pray and meditate. Meditation can reduce your heart rate and blood pressure, adrenaline levels, and skin temperature.
- Practice acceptance… learn to accept others and yourself. Do not get stressed out about things that are way beyond your control. You’re much better off accepting these things and figuring out ways to work with them.
- Talk to yourself… ask yourself what you’re really stressed out about in the coming day or week. Then ask what you can do to reduce the stress before that event.
- Have a plan… using good time management, plot out realistic timings of daily activities including work, sleep, relationships, and recreation. You may be planning too many things each day. This tool will help you decide which daily activities are priority.
- Clean your house/desk/work area… removing physical clutter can be a prelude to purging emotional clutter. Use your time and energy as efficiently as possible to organize your home life and office.
- Don’t procrastinate… loose ends, whether in family, friends or work, cause stress. Make a list of things you have to do. Then prioritize the list to things that are most important and can be accomplished in a reasonably specified amount of time. Ask yourself if anything on the list can be dropped or delegated.
Don’t know where to start in your bid to manage stress? Here 20 simple ideas to help you let off some steam…
- Have a laugh… look for the humor in stressful situations. Laughter relaxes muscles and lowers blood pressure
- Make realistic plans…. don’t try to do too many things. Think ahead and adjust your plans to try to avoid triggers of stress
- Claim some private time… have a morning prayer time, take quiet walks, get in the hot tub. Have some space alone.
- Breathe… take long, deep breaths, focusing on relaxation.
- Communicate artfully… openly discuss situations, versus avoiding conflict.
- The pause that refreshes… make many breaks part of your day. Have a Starbucks therapy. Take a break, take a walk, take time out.
- Accept that nobody’s perfect… don’t demand absolute perfection of yourself…. set realistic and attainable goals. Don’t sweat it if not everything is perfect.
- Get moving… physical activity is a time-tested stress reliever. Even a brisk walk will reduce the level of stress hormones in the blood. Start slowly and aspire to at least 30 minutes a day. Three walks a week will do you good.
- Use your friends… friends can be good medicine… daily conversation. Regular social engagements and sharing of deep feelings and thoughts will reduce stress quite nicely. Your friends are there for you and talking helps them de-stress, too.
- Count to 10… it’s good to acknowledge your anger but let yourself cool down before you yell, rant, or rave. Evidence shows that both repression and impulsively venting anger increases the risk of early death.