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Old 04-17-2014, 07:26 PM
AldenteVonTino's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: the Sunshine State also known as Florida
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Question Public Speaking Question:

I am within weeks of my first public speaking engagement. (Not counting online or party chat.)
I have read books, been to classes, and seen many videos. I believe I am ready, and my website will show that. (Also within timely reach.)
I have yet had a decent chance to sit down and talk with someone in this profession. This forum give me that opportunity, in a way.
Having said that, is there any personal advice someone might offer that I might comment or question?
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Old 04-24-2014, 05:44 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 899

You'll be fine. Looks like you've done everything you could to prepare for this moment. If you are really passionate about your topic, this will take precedence over your fears.

I have been doing public speaking since I was in my teens. Even today, I still get anxious... but it disappears once I start talking. Take slow deep breaths, smile, and get going!
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:24 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Near Rochester, NY
Posts: 375

Congrats on getting your first speaking engagement! In preparing to teach a college class, I videoed myself to see what I could improve. You could also practice in front of a mirror - sounds corny but can help!

Best of luck!

Lori in NY
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Old 05-23-2014, 06:10 PM
Create With Nate's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: SC, USA
Posts: 50

Public speaking for me is probably my biggest fear in the entire world. But at the same time, whenever I practice, practice, and practice some more I enjoy it. The key for me is being well prepared. My mentor gave me a piece of advice that has helped me tremendously. He told me to form my words in the front of my mouth using my teeth and lips. This also goes a long way in being clearly understood. Congrats on your speaking engagement!
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Old 05-28-2014, 10:15 AM
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My advice:

(1) Don't read a script. Follow an outline.
(2) Tell a story.
(3) Watch the audience. If they seem confused, explain. If they like something, go deeper on that topic. Watch what they respond to.
(4) Ask for feedback as you go along, such as "Does that make sense?" or "Do you see what I mean?" Look at faces, see if they are following you.
(5) Give people a format to follow, they like to know they have gotten everything. For example, say, "Here are the five best ways to earn customer trust…" You'll notice everyone get their pens out, ready to NUMBER their pages and write down your tips. When you get to five, they know they got all your tips on that topic.

Gotta run, but hope those ideas help. Congrats and good luck! Speaking is fun!
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Old 05-28-2014, 07:12 PM
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Location: Douglasville, GA
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Alison, great tips!
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Old 05-29-2014, 06:10 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Chicago, United States
Posts: 1,938

I speak fairly regularly in my business - sometimes for tiny groups and others for groups of 50 to 100. In either scenario, here's what works for me:

Have an outline prepared just in case (I rarely need it but everyone draws a blank once in a while... if it happens, relax, pause, find your place, and get back on track. If you can do it calmly - and possibly with a little humor if appropriate - no one will think anything of it).

Talk WITH your audience, not AT them.

If you have reference websites that support whatever you're talking about, share them. I speak monthly at a major hospital to a large parents of multiples class. At the end of my class, I offer highly respected, easy to navigate, supporting websites. Everyone loves them and I often get follow up feedback thanking me for those resources.

Good luck - you'll be great!!
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