Monday, 30 July 2012

How to Speak with Confidence - Part 2

"The mind is a wonderful thing.
It starts working the minute you are born
and never stops until ....
you get up to speak in public!"

(Roscoe Drumond)

Speaking in public is often cited as the number one fear of adults, and certainly a number of my clients have felt that way.  They come to me because they want to be sure they present themselves well and that their message is received effectively.

I recently read an article by Richard M Highsmith who was a senior instructor for The Leader's Institute, where he looks at some techniques to deal with the anxiety of public speaking and some tips on how to give an excellent presentation.  His methods are divided into the acronym P.R.E.P.A.R.E

In Part 1 of my blog I covered P - preparation, R - rehearse and E - entry.

Here in Part 2 - we are looking at:

P - Posturing
A - Audience.


Your body is a tool.  Learn to use it effectively.  Find your centre of balance.  Your feet should be firmly planted about shoulder width apart.  Hold your shoulders back and chin up.  Stand calmly, being careful not to fidget or sway.  Let your hands rest by your sides.

Don't wander around the room.  If you want to go to a different location - go there and then stop.  Speak to one person at a time and maintain eye contact.

Your voice has volume, tone and pace.  Realise you will speak faster and at a higher pitch than you did when you were rehearsing.  Be aware of this tendency. Talk lower and slower.  Speak loudly enough so everyone in the room can hear you but not so loudly that the people in the front rows are covering their ears.


Know who you are talking to.  Don't be like William Safire who asked, 'Is sloppiness in speech caused by ignorance or apathy? I don't know and I don't care.' What does your audience know about the topic? Try to anticipate their questions.  During the presentation, seek reactions, questions and concerns.  This makes you appear accessible and allows you to move through the topic with your audience following closely along.

If possible, greet audience members as they arrive.  Ask why they came or about their interests in the topic.  Adjust your presentation plans to better meet their needs.  Finally, keep in mind the audience is not your enemy - they want you to succeed. Nobody came to watch you flail or fail.  Engage people and make them partners in your successful talk.

Still not feeling comfortable? Why not contact me at Nicholl Consultancy and we can explore this together.

Until Part 3, when we explore R = Relax and E = Ending, be successful!

Bye for Now,


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment.