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Showing posts from June, 2016

It's Not About You

Public Speaking is not about you, it’s about your audience. A lot of hang ups we have about public speaking revolve around the attention we place on ourselves during or in preparation for a speech. It should be a big relief to know that people don’t care about you nearly as much as they care about themselves. That’s why it’s important to shift your attention from the typical self-centered thoughts to how you can help your audience. Remember the saying that, “It’s better to give than to receive.” The concept of generosity certainly applies to speech. That said, there are two major benefits to shifting your focus from you to the audience: 1. Anxiety Reduction It’s very stressful, worrying too much about how good your speech will be. We naturally tend think about how smart we will sound, how good we will look, will they notice nerves etc. But instead of focusing on how much the speech matters to you, consider what your audience might have to gain from your speech? You m

Where to Start?

Speakers face various challenges when it comes to preparing for a speech. Of all the challenges, perhaps the most overwhelming task is simply the act of getting started! Procrastination may have its place in certain situations but it is a bane to public speakers. You have to put one foot in front of the other and begin somewhere. You don’t have to complete the whole speech in a single sitting. Nevertheless, you must know how to get started! So here are some tips to help you take the first steps towards creating the bulk your speech. 1. Review your instructions, task or assignment carefully. Read this over and contemplate it carefully so you know exactly what your goal is. 2. Create a blank word document on your desktop. Name it “Speech X” if you don’t have any better ideas. (Obviously use pen and paper if you work better that way!) 3. Write down your ideas. Don’t have any ideas? Put down whatever comes to your mind! Free write whatever random thoughts you may be havi

Public Speaking for Shy People

I can easily understand why any shy person would dread having to give a speech. It’s a lot of pressure, all eyes are on you and you must perform a really challenging task. I began my study of speech precisely because I felt that way when I was younger. But it’s important to remember that there’s nothing inherently wrong with being shy! Yes, it will absolutely hold you back in some instances. But you can learn to speak effectively despite being a shy person. In fact, this trait can even serve as an asset in speech. Susan Cain’s popular ted talk Thepower of introverts and her book Quiet shed much light on this subject, though more broadly. And I see time and time again how different personality types handle public speaking. I’ve seen many students give incredible speeches despite seeming quite shy. It’s possible that shyness can even drive some people to put more effort into their speeches. It may cause a person to care more about the assignment. I don’t reckon shyness eve

How to Persuade

Influential people in the world tend to be effective persuaders. To persuade another person is to change their mind; to influence them in some way. I’d like to share a few thoughts on how to become a more persuasive speaker with the help of Aristotle’s three rhetorical proofs. Ethos (Character) You must get your audience to believe that you are on their side. Demonstrate to them that you want the best for them. Your message must align, at least somewhat, with their views. You have to get them to believe that they can trust you. It’s important that you embody your credibility too. You must speak and move with power. Project your voice, puff yourself out a little bit and take up space. You will be less persuasive if you are seen as hesitant or unsure of your convictions. Pathos (Emotions) You must arouse emotion in the crowd. We do not always behave rationally. Fear, empathy, and anger often guide our decisions. If you can stir up these emotions in your audience, you wi