Monday, July 23, 2007

Public Speaking : Give Me a Brake

The Micro Machine Man is not a public speaking professional for a reason…well, yes, he used to get paid to talk fast, but notice I said “used to.” He never lasted because no one understood what he said. While on stage, you may find that your tongue is going a mile a minute, maybe you’re nervous, maybe you don’t feel well, whatever. No matter what, you need to slam on the breaks so your public speaking audience will be able to gain something from the program. This will be impossible if they can’t understand you! When you start tripping over your mouth, use these tips to slow yourself down:

>> Imagine that your audience is composed of 5-year olds and you have to explain some difficult concept to them. You must obviously go slowly so they can understand you.

>> Force yourself to use difficult word combinations which will force you to slow down so that you don’t stutter over them.

>> Conduct specific practice sessions concentrating on varying the speed of your delivery so that you get a better control over this aspect of your talks. Also, varying the speed makes you more interesting automatically. You must do these practice sessions out loud. To save time, they can be done in the car, or while doing your hair or jogging, etc.

>> Cut out some of your material so that you do not feel rushed to get it all in. Going faster is usually futile because the retention level drops so low that you may as well have omitted the material in the first place.

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