2017年2月26日

How to Deliver the Speech

Get Comfortable with the Crowd and Room
When it is finally time to deliver the speech, you should make sure that you arrive at the venue early—especially if you haven’t been there before. Take some time to scope out the area around you, including where people will sit and where you will be presenting. Take the opportunity to setup your laptop and/or projector if you need to. And try to do all of this stuff well in advance of the time you deliver. If you don’t do this in advance, and you find yourself confused or in the wrong place as a result, the pressure will build, which is the exact opposite of what you need before a big presentation. Instead, you want to arrive well in advance of the presentation, and you want the ability to check out the venue, get comfortable, and play out the scenario in your mind in a low-pressure situation because you ever have to speak a word to anyone else.


Don’t Dwell on Mistakes
One problem that many new speakers make is that they tend to dwell on mistakes. They might stutter or say words in the wrong order because they are nervous. And, instead of simply correcting themselves or moving on, they dwell on the error, apologize for it, and possibly even make fun of themselves using some self-effacing humor. While this may be okay for 1 or 2 mistakes, it really isn’t necessary and doesn’t add much to the presentation. To see why this is the case, just consider mistakes that you see in everyday conversation or on television. If it is clear from the context what the person meant, you won’t care whether or not the person painstakingly tries to correct what they said the first time. Instead, you would rather they move forward with the story. The same is true in any public speaking scenario. If what you said was unintelligible because of the mistake, then correct it briefly and without apology. But if what you said was clearly understood by the audience, don’t dwell on it. Instead, keep moving with the speech.


Stay Calm
Before you get up on stage to do your big speech or presentation, people will tell you to stay calm and that you’ll do great. Of course, if you haven’t done a lot of public speaking before, this advice probably seems insane. How could you possibly stay calm, you might wonder. So you ignore this as nicety and then get on stage to deliver your speech. A few minutes in, your heart is racing and you’re
stuttering. Now, in all fairness, even with this bit advice to “stay calm,” it is hard to know exactly what you should do to make it happen. What I will say, however, is that it is absolutely essential that you do stay calm and that you don’t panic. And here is how I suggest you do it:

i. Be prepared. I cannot stress this enough. If you prepare for your speech and you go through it with your family and friends, there’s really nothing to worry about. You’ll know the content of your speech so well that reciting in front of a group of strangers won’t be a big deal. On the other hand, if this is the first time you’ve ever said it in front of anyone else (or even recited it on your own), you’re more likely to get lost, to freeze, and then become nervous.

ii. Be at peace with pauses. If you’re sitting in the audience, it really isn’t a huge deal to you if the speaker pauses for 3-5 seconds to find her place on some speech notes. If it happens a lot, it might be annoying, but if it happens 2-3 times in the speech, it really isn’t a big deal. In fact, it is less distracting than if the speaker panics and repeatedly apologizes. So, either don’t apologize at all, or, at most, say something like “I’m sorry. Just give me a couple of seconds to find my place.”

iii. Use notes and/or a visual aid. If you’re delivering a eulogy or a wedding speech, a visual aid may be out of the picture. However, in many other scenarios, it will be a good option. Having a PowerPoint presentation or some other form of visual aid can go a long way in jogging your memory about what you’re supposed to say next. On the other hand, if you cannot use a visual aid, you should either write your speech out in full or jot down a notes on either a piece of paper or some notecards. If worse comes to worst, and you lose your place, you can scan the speech quickly and figure out where you’resupposed to be. This will be much better than stuttering, blushing, apologizing, and looking confused to the audience.

iv. Visualize everything in your head before you deliver the speech. Studies have shown that people who prepare for events ahead of time by visualizing the possible outcomes and how they will respond to them often do much better when the event arises. This is definitely true for public speaking. Envision how things might go well and how they might go poorly. Picture yourself responding to each scenario, so that you are prepared for anything.

To summarize—remaining calm is important. And the best way to do that is to be so prepared that the event truly does not seem like a big deal. You’ll know yourlines, and if something goes wrong, you’ll know how to cope with that, too. Being prepared is the easiest way to ensure that things go well and you don’t lose your cool.


Deviate from the Notes if Needed, But Not Too Far
Another important thing to keep in mind is that you should deviate from your notes or written speech if you have to. It may seem like a bad idea at first, but if the situation calls for it, skip a slide, change to a new topic, or jump ahead. Flexibility may be difficult to come by if you haven’t spoke in public multiple times, but if you allow for it, it can definitely improve your speech. With that said, you should definitely try to keep the deviations small and infrequent. For instance, skipping ahead to make sure you complete the presentation in time is good. But allowing a single question to derail your presentation for upwards of 10 to 15 minutes is a bad idea. Use your judgment when deciding which deviations are good and are likely to contribute positively to the speech; and which ones are going to be a time-sink with little reward.


Don’t Get Intimidated by Questions
If you’re giving a speech to coworkers, to your boss, to a seminar audience, or to an academic audience, you will probably have to field questions—and many of them. Some may seem mean-spirited, difficult, or designed to make you look bad and discredit everything you’ve said. And that is only to be expected. So expect this in advance. Expect the questions to be tough and tricky. And take them in stride. Listen to the audience member carefully, make sure you understand the question correctly, and then respond without losing your cool. If you have to, you can always say that you didn’t understand the question (and, thus, need the audience member to repeat it) or you can tell the audience member that you disagree, but will talk to her more about it later. Whatever you do, don’t lose your cool. You will always look better to the vast majority of the audience if you don’t get into petty struggles with individual members of the audience. You will also look better if you don’t appear visibly frazzled or insulted by a question. So try to maintain your composure—and then either answer the question or deflect it cleverly.

Source of Information : Public Speaking Exposed

2017年2月25日

Practice

Deliver the Speech to a Friend
Practice is absolutely essential if you want to be a good public speaker. You cannot simply pen your speech and then deliver it the following day without ever having recited it once. That is a recipe for disaster.

Instead, what you should do is begin practicing your speech well in advance of the speaking date. Additionally, if you can, find a friend who is willing to listen to your speech and give comments. At first, it might seem irksome and embarrassing, but in the long run, you will feel much better about the quality of your speech after you have delivered it to a friend and have received extensive feedback.

In many cases, it is a good idea to deliver your speech to more than one friend or family member. This will allow you to get a better feel for how different types of people respond do it. Additionally, try to seek out individuals who are willing to provide blunt, honest feedback about changes you should make. It may be difficult to hear, but the information you gain as a result will be worth it.


Make Modifications as You Go
As you’re practicing your speech (either alone or with others), you should always keep something nearby to take notes on. As soon as you notice a flaw in your  speech, you should take note of it and fix it when you’ve completed the run through. It might be annoying to do this when you’re trying to complete a smooth run-through, but it will pay off by allowing you to eliminate the mistakes and bad
phrasing quickly.


Time Your Practice Sessions
Another thing you must do is time your practice sessions. If you don’t know how long each of your runs is going, you won’t know whether to add more content or remove more content. So do yourself a favor and use your watch to time how long each run takes. If you find you’re taking too long, try to figure out what parts are inessential and remove them.


Ask for Criticism
Earlier in the section, we talked about the need to solicit criticism from people who hear your presentation, but this cannot be stressed enough. There are many things in your speech that may sound odd or may be confusing to anyone other than you. The only way in which you can expose these problem areas is to present it to someone else; and to hear what they have to say. So do it. Try to make your presentation to as many people as you can. And ask them to honestly criticize how you did and to make comments about how you can improve.

Source of Information : Public Speaking Exposed

2017年2月24日

How to Write Your Speech - Drawing a Powerful Conclusion

When it comes to drawing a powerful conclusion, no template can really suffice. Your conclusion will depend on your subject matter and on the specific findings you have—or on the specific people you are talking about. No matter what the topic is, however, you will want to draw to keep your conclusion/closing powerful.

Again, while there is no template for doing this, it is something you should strive to accomplish. So, instead of writing the conclusion like you wrote everything else, take some time to think carefully about it, to revise it multiple times, and to present it to friends and family members until you feel confident that it is strong and compelling.

Source of Information : Public Speaking Exposed

2017年2月23日

How to Write Your Speech - Make your introduction interesting

Instead of simply presenting a broad, boring summary of everything you’re going to say, take it as an opportunity to motivate the purpose of your speech, and to encourage people to participate. In short, use your introduction to make sure the audience is awake and interested in what you are about to do.

Source of Information : Public Speaking Exposed

2017年2月22日

How to Write Your Speech - Think of Your Introduction as an Instrument or Tool

As with any good speech or presentation, your goal is to get into the meat of the speech, present some idea or topic, and hopefully get good responses and perhaps some useful suggestions (depending on your topic). You hope that the audience will enjoy it and will respond positively.

Unfortunately, there is usually a large stumbling blog that prevents you from doing all of this: the introduction. That’s right—before you can get into the meat of the presentation or speech, you have to wake your audience up, tell them what you’re going to talk about, and give them reasons to be interested. And your introduction is the tool you will use to accomplish this.

Now, one way in which you can instrumentalize your introduction to achieve this end is to use it to tease some of the more important findings or things that you will include in the rest of the speech. For instance, if it is a wedding speech, you might say that you’re going to reveal something about the groom that no one else knows—including the bride.

Alternatively, if you’re doing an academic presentation, you might consider teasing some of the important findings from your work. For instance, you might simply say “I found X,Y, and Z” in your introduction. You might think that it gives away too much too early, but in fact, it will focus your audience on the right idea—and will give them motivation to retain the rest of the information.

Source of Information : Public Speaking Exposed

2017年2月21日

How to Write Your Speech - Using Ice-­‐Breakers

In many situations, a good way to start a speech or presentation is with an icebreaker. This is usually a joke or an exercise of some sort that breaks the tension in the atmosphere that lingers before speeches.

As I mentioned before, if you’re presenting in front of a hostile crowd, an icebreaker might be a must. And it will be especially good if it is at your expense, since this will indicate that you are open to a critical view of your own beliefs or presentation. It will also suggest that you have listened to the other side for long enough to know the jokes they tell about yours. In addition to jokes, there are other ice-breakers that can be equally effective. For instance, you might ask people in the audience to perform some type of exercise or to think about a topic or an event for 15 seconds. Alternatively, you might ask them to answer interesting or challenging questions to stimulate thought and conversation.

Whatever you do, make sure you keep your audience and mind and focus on providing something that will truly break the ice. If you think that a joke won’t work at your conference, don’t use it. And if you think a thought exercise won’t fly at your business meeting, don’t use it. There are a time and a place for these things; and part of being a good speaker is to know when and where.

Source of Information : Public Speaking Exposed

2017年2月20日

How to Write Your Speech - Writing an Intro

One of the most difficult parts of writing a speech is simply putting down an introduction. You might feel like you roughly know how the speech will flow and what elements you might include, but getting it off the ground can be quite difficult. Below, we will consider some approaches you might use to improve your intro, so that you don’t lose people before you even get started.

Source of Information : Public Speaking Exposed

2017年2月19日

How to Write Your Speech - Pick Quotes

In many settings, quotes aren’t necessary and won’t add much to your speech. But in other cases, they border on a necessary. For instance, during weddings, one of the oft-used quotes is taken from First Corinthians 13:1-13. It often says in  a few beautiful lines what many speakers feel they could not, even if they were given hundreds of lines.

In short, let the situation dictate whether or not you should use a quote. If you think it would add to your speech, then don’t hold back. If you think it might get a laugh that could warm up an otherwise hostile crowd, then do it. But if you think it’ll be perceived poorly, then don’t bother.

Source of Information : Public Speaking Exposed