Anyone have public speaking tips?

by BJ Min 39 replies
Hi,

I am going to speak in a seminar in Los Angeles this month...
and I would like to know if you guys know of any GOOD
public speaking tips?

It's a 25 minute speech about how to start an info product ebook business.

thanks
BJ
#main internet marketing discussion forum #public #speaking #tips
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Moffatt
    Have a TON OF FUN!
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  • Profile picture of the author AlexPK
    First work out your main points and it gives you an estimate of how to spread them throughout 25 minutes.

    Know what you want to say as your main ending point. Include a call to action. Check this is appropriate and relevant for the type of audience you are speaking to.

    Create a summary of the main theme which the main points in the speech lead up to this ending.

    Go through the technical pointers for each main point and write those out.

    Practice without writing an intro as yet. Feel how you flow and the time it takes you. Input places of light humor where it may get a bit technical so attention may drop off and keep the flow upbeat.

    Once you're happy with most of the flow, how much time do you have to go through your attention grabbing, benefits laden introduction which you start writing now.

    A general structure is

    Intro: Where you indicate what you are going to talk about.

    Body: Main points where you talk about these things.

    End: Indicate what you've told them and how it wraps up together to a call to action for more.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dave777
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  • Profile picture of the author Norma Holt
    As one used to public speaking over my lifetime the greatest tip I can give you is to know your subject backwards. Talk off the cuff rather than read from notes and be prepared for interruptions. If someone asks you a question or makes a comment while you are talking you must know where to pick up from and go again. You must speak with a loud clear voice and deliver your talk SLOWLY. Don't race as though you have only a few minutes. The deliverance is more important than the timing.

    As already noted have fun, relax your audience and let us know how you go.

    God bless

    Norma
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    • Profile picture of the author Jillian Slack
      Make two versions of your presentation:

      1. An outline with bullet points

      2. A script (based on the outline with bullet points)

      Hire an editor to go through your script to correct any errors in grammar, sentence structure, etc.

      There's nothing that can kill your credibility like standing before a crowd, looking sharp, looking professional, having the credentials to really know yourself, and then opening your mouth to speak with terrible grammar. Makes you sound like an idiot. Sorry, but it's true.

      Practice your presentation several times with the script to make sure you've got it all down.

      Then practice it a few times with the outline.

      When it's time to present, use the outline. Don't use the script.

      You'll appear more confident to the crowd if you glance at your outline once in a while to prompt yourself on what's next. Compare that to someone who simply reads their entire script to the audience. BORING! Plus, if you're reading from your script, then look out at the crowd, then look back at the script, you've probably just lost your place. It's much more difficult to find your place in a script than it is to find your place on an outline.

      Good luck and have fun!
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  • Profile picture of the author raynman
    I absolutely LOVE speaking in public. It isn't for everyone, especially those who think about what they are doing too much.

    I am prone to tangents and winging it (which usually works for me) but I try and force myself to use power point. That forces me to more or less stay on track.

    I do two things running in my head concerning speaking:
    1) these are friends that I am talking to and I need to be that comfortable and relaxed. if you are tense, everyone else is tense as well. if you are comfortable and having fun with it then they will as well. You have to trick yourself into that mindset. I don't know how to tell you to do it. You have to figure that one out. Just try to be natural (but only with a better/louder speaking voice).

    2) The speech is a journey. Know where you are starting from and where you want to arrive and pick a couple points to go to along the way that will make the trip better all the way around. The whole thing has to flow and envisioning a journey is the best thing I can think of when you are planning it out.

    Now when you are planning it out, make sure you know your......stuff. If you really know your subject matter filling in the gaps will come easy on your journey. It will also help you if there is any Q&A afterward.

    If you use powerpoint, use it sparingly. Don't try to put too much in your presentation. Each slide that you have needs to only have the bare bones in it. Have key phrases and points in them. Only have the points that you really want them to go home with but make sure that it is enough that you keep their interest.

    Also, don't let your presentation be a distraction from what you are trying to say. If you aren't used to doing powerpoints, you are tempted to fill it up with flashy stuff and all these cool effects. It isn't a toy, it's a tool. Do you want the people to be impressed with your knowledge or ability to put together a really fancy schmancy powerpoint presentation? You'll get more gigs if you are known for your speaking ability. Make yourself the focal point, not the screen.

    One thing I like having as well is some kind of hand out. Put something in their hands to follow along with. Make them go back from the handout to the screen and then to you but don't make it so all they have to do is read the handout. I like having fill-in-the-blank stuff on the handout to get them a bit more involved.

    There's probably a lot more stuff that goes into it for other people but for me that's about it. Hope it helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author morwanneg
    Be yourself, have fun, and be confident. Most importantly, do not sound monotonous or you'll bore your audience.
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  • Profile picture of the author mikemcmillan
    First, good luck and have fun BJ!

    I did many live seminars over the years and here are some things that come to mind. I'm not suggesting you aren't aware of this stuff, but if it helps--well, good.

    One of the hardest things is getting from your seat or back-stage up to the podium. Think about politics. Ever notice how all presidents, when walking from point A to point B always wave to the crowd, point to an individual or two and smile or wave to them. That's all a scam, but doing that breaks up your walk and makes the audience feel like you're connected to some of people there. Just a thought.

    Okay, think of a musical score. If you look at the music you see notes; think of them as words in your speech. But each note, in addition to assigning a tone--also carries with it info to indicate duration. The music is then composed of tones and pauses.

    Too many speakers try to squeeze their words (notes) too close together to give out too much info too fast. If you took a musical score and left the notes unchanged, but changed the pauses between them--you change the metre and interpretation of the composition. Well placed pauses in your speaking help to reinforce the words before and after them.

    Speaking to a group is also kind of like feeding them a pizza. Don't try to feed them the whole thing in one big bite. Think of breaking your speech into bite-sized pieces that are easily digestible by your listeners.

    Vary the inflection of your tone and speed of speaking. Even if you have a thousand people there, look into the eyes of individuals as you speak rather than looking down or off into the distance.

    Biggest thing: Watch out for using "uh" when you pause between phrases. It can really be distracting. A lot of speakers use sloppy English as well. They say "gunna" instead of "going to". They say "ya" for "you". They say "wanna" instead of "want to". Dropping the hard "g" from verbs (saying doin instead of doing, sayin instead of saying, etc.) is also sloppy.

    One other technique that is powerful and often used is to select one of your key points and repeat it over and over in succession to emphasize it to your listeners. A great example can be found in Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech in Washington DC in 1963.

    "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up...

    I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia...

    I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi...

    I have a dream that my four little children will one day...

    I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama...

    I have a dream that one day every valley shall...

    I have a dream today!"

    This isn't a political discourse, I just wanted to exemplify the power of this technique. It is used effectively by many politicians and public speakers in general. Okay, sorry about the length of this thingie--but best wishes BJ. Let us know how you do!
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    • Profile picture of the author madison_avenue
      Originally Posted by mikemcmillan View Post

      First, good luck and have fun BJ!

      I did many live seminars over the years and here are some things that come to mind. I'm not suggesting you aren't aware of this stuff, but if it helps--well, good.

      One of the hardest things is getting from your seat or back-stage up to the podium. Think about politics. Ever notice how all presidents, when walking from point A to point B always wave to the crowd, point to an individual or two and smile or wave to them. That's all a scam, but doing that breaks up your walk and makes the audience feel like you're connected to some of people there. Just a thought.

      Okay, think of a musical score. If you look at the music you see notes; think of them as words in your speech. But each note, in addition to assigning a tone--also carries with it info to indicate duration. The music is then composed of tones and pauses.

      Too many speakers try to squeeze their words (notes) too close together to give out too much info too fast. If you took a musical score and left the notes unchanged, but changed the pauses between them--you change the metre and interpretation of the composition. Well placed pauses in your speaking help to reinforce the words before and after them.

      Speaking to a group is also kind of like feeding them a pizza. Don't try to feed them the whole thing in one big bite. Think of breaking your speech into bite-sized pieces that are easily digestible by your listeners.

      Vary the inflection of your tone and speed of speaking. Even if you have a thousand people there, look into the eyes of individuals as you speak rather than looking down or off into the distance.

      Biggest thing: Watch out for using "uh" when you pause between phrases. It can really be distracting. A lot of speakers use sloppy English as well. They say "gunna" instead of "going to". They say "ya" for "you". They say "wanna" instead of "want to". Dropping the hard "g" from verbs (saying doin instead of doing, sayin instead of saying, etc.) is also sloppy.

      One other technique that is powerful and often used is to select one of your key points and repeat it over and over in succession to emphasize it to your listeners. A great example can be found in Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech in Washington DC in 1963.

      "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up...

      I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia...

      I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi...

      I have a dream that my four little children will one day...

      I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama...

      I have a dream that one day every valley shall...

      I have a dream today!"

      This isn't a political discourse, I just wanted to exemplify the power of this technique. It is used effectively by many politicians and public speakers in general. Okay, sorry about the length of this thingie--but best wishes BJ. Let us know how you do!
      This is a great example of the technique of repetition Mike is talking about. One of the bests speeches ever, download the audio and listen to it:


      BBC - History - Audio: Churchill and World War Two
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      • Profile picture of the author knmrwarrior
        Another site that has (free) advice:

        Public Speaking Tips

        Good luck with the event. I know it can be nerve wrecking before hand but it'll be exhilarating when it happens. Enjoy every minute of it.
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        • Profile picture of the author Marhelper
          Ask your doctor to write you a script for Inderal 20mg, PRN. It is great for situational stress relief but it does not take away your mental sharpness.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr. Cross Brown
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    • Profile picture of the author Peter Bestel
      Originally Posted by Mr. Cross Brown View Post

      Take a deep breath before coming onto the podium.

      Speak as if you are addressing a person.

      Speak as if you are the wisest man in the room.

      Be moderate in everything you do in the room - dont over-gesticulate; dont be emotional.



      Mr. Cross
      Don't listen to everybody!

      Being the voice of authority may be useful but can get you into deep doodoo too. If you go on with the attitude of, 'I know best, I'm going to teach these dimwits a thing or two about e-books. I'm such an expert' then be prepared for a fall. Having an unnecessarily high opinion of yourself will not endear you to your audience. Build rapport, not a barrier.

      Be moderate in everything you do in the room - dont over-gesticulate; dont be emotional.
      Oh, for goodness sake. That's a lesson in how to be boring and send your audience to sleep. You're on stage, be yourself and enjoy it. If that means jumping around, waving your arms about and crying - do it. It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but you'll enjoy yourself more and you'll be remembered.

      Saw this great tip: Don’t think How can I survive this, think How can I do this brilliantly?

      Most importantly - Have Fun!!!!!

      Peter
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      • Profile picture of the author Heather Bestel
        There's nothing wrong with being emotional.

        If you are passionate about your subject your audience will feel it too.

        I have spoken at conferences for 15 years and delegates always tell me that I connected with them because I truly believe in what I'm saying.

        Always be yourself, trust yourself and believe that: if each member of your audience takes away with them just one little bit of useful information that will make a difference in their lives, you have done a good job.

        Have fun and let us all know how it went.

        A word of warning - once you start enjoying public speaking, you may want to do it all the time.

        Best wishes
        Heather
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      • Profile picture of the author raynman
        Originally Posted by Peter Bestel View Post

        Don't listen to everybody!

        Being the voice of authority may be useful but can get you into deep doodoo too. If you go on with the attitude of, 'I know best, I'm going to teach these dimwits a thing or two about e-books. I'm such an expert' then be prepared for a fall. Having an unnecessarily high opinion of yourself will not endear you to your audience. Build rapport, not a barrier.
        Be moderate in everything you do in the room - dont over-gesticulate; dont be emotional.
        Oh, for goodness sake. That's a lesson in how to be boring and send your audience to sleep. You're on stage, be yourself and enjoy it. If that means jumping around, waving your arms about and crying - do it. It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but you'll enjoy yourself more and you'll be remembered.

        Saw this great tip: Don’t think How can I survive this, think How can I do this brilliantly?

        Most importantly - Have Fun!!!!!

        Peter
        I 100% agree with this. Know your stuff but don't try and set yourself up as the smartest person in the room on the material. You may be able to come at it at an angle that the smartest one in the room hasn't thought of but you won't likely be the smartest so don't pretend it is so. Try to learn enough to be an authority but don't try to set yourself as THE authority.

        re: being emotional, don't be a drama queen but be passionate about it. You aren't there to just educate, you are also there as an entertainer in a sense. You HAVE to be able to get the audience involved emotionally for them to not only remember what you are saying but to remember YOU. Again, the audience reflects what you do on stage.
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  • Profile picture of the author Li Weng
    Remember to project your voice.

    Don't speak too fast and use pauses.

    I tend to use a lot of gestures, which I find helpful.
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Woodside
    Know your subject and don't be over confident. You must have butterflies before you go on stage. If you don't have any apprehension about going on stage just before you do, then you will probably fail. Over confidence is the kiss of death! Talk to that audience the same way you would talk to me if you and I were in your office with nobody around. Do that and you'll kick ass!
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      1. Most people, when they first start speaking, talk way too fast. You should feel like you're talking just a bit slower than normal. Of course, if you catch the spirit, let it move you.

      2. Use the same hand gestures as you would when talking to someone one-on-one, but just a little bigger.

      3. Practice in front of a video camera, then watch the recording. You'll notice the points and words you stumble over, and you can either practice them or rewrite that bit to flow easier.

      4. Do NOT try to memorize your talk word for word. If you get distracted (think loud cough or sneeze in the audience, catering people moving around, questions or comments from the audience, etc.) and lose your place, or forget your lines, you're screwed.

      5. Don't be afraid to use memory aids. An index card with your outline is cool. No one will fault you for a quick glance to make sure you are on track. Even pros use cue cards.

      6. As JMo said, have fun with it. As the Toastmasters people say, you can't get rid of the butterflies, but you can sure teach them to fly in formation...
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  • Profile picture of the author iw
    Hi Dj:

    Read your thread.

    I saw a couple of replies with Toastmasters and I thought that was a really good suggestion. However, I have a add on to that. If possible, borrow the manuals from a member of toastmasters to have a look. It shows you why and how stuffs and the manuals go from basis to advance level.

    Anyway, happy finding!
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  • Profile picture of the author Doug
    Hey BJ,

    Be transparent.

    In other words, don't be afraid to let your audience know you are human, prone to making mistakes - you didn't get invited to speak because you were born an expert. There are common failures we all make, share one or two of your mistakes made on the path to becoming an expert. Weave these into your presentation, people will relate...

    Also weave into the presentation 'actionable' steps the audience can put to use immediately. Keep these simple. Whether or not they follow your plan to start an ebook business, give them tools for moving themselves forward in business.

    One of the difficulties I have faced when speaking in public is losing my train of thought, my mind swims and it is here that I fail to do a good 'job' speaking. Even with a Power Point presentation I will still use note cards to keep myself focused. 1 card - 1 main point.

    Don't be afraid to let the audience know you are using the cards. In fact, as you turn to the next card say, "this next point is important" or something to that effect. This makes the listener feel special as they tell themselves you do not want to forget to share that particular subject - you are really just keeping yourself focused while the listener feels "cared for" and they don't really notice the card.

    Be sure to have a glass of water readily available.

    and

    Don't make listeners 'feel' stupid.

    but rather

    Be sure they enjoy themselves while listening. Have fun and they will too. Don't be afraid to be self-deprecating or maybe appropriately 'silly', allow the audience to identify with you while laughing. In other words, don't take yourself to seriously...

    Hope I offered some good ideas,
    Doug



    Originally Posted by BJ Min View Post

    Hi,

    I am going to speak in a seminar in Los Angeles this month...
    and I would like to know if you guys know of any GOOD
    public speaking tips?

    It's a 25 minute speech about how to start an info product ebook business.

    thanks
    BJ
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  • Profile picture of the author markwinder
    WOW - some GREAT tips here by some experienced people, BJ. Great question!

    After reading through all these replies, I can't help but marvel at all the different approaches and, as I did, I was thinking, how can I bring my expertise and love of public speaking into this discussion to help you?

    Well - first and foremost - do yourself a favor and look through all the posts above (and more than likely below), and find one piece of advice that seems to fit best with your personality. You need to be comfortable - or at least as comfortable as possible - when you're up there. Worst case, PROJECT that image - ie fake it till you make it!

    A lot of people have a HUGE fear of public speaking. And the funny thing is - it really is no different than speaking to a group of friends. We just convince ourselves otherwise. So choose the advice that fits best with you.

    Also - like someone above said - KNOW your topic inside out and backwards. And in addition - and this is something I can't stress enough - practice your talk as many times as you can. Once you've said it a number of times in private, you don't have as much to worry about in public - you KNOW it. You know the length of it, and you know how the points flow into each other.

    Remember, practice might not make perfect - but practice does make permanent!

    Best of luck with the speech, BJ!

    - Mark.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Riddle
    BJ,

    First, don't give a speech, make a talk on your subject.

    Yes make note cards with the topics you want to cover in your presentation, but don't just read the cards.

    Write a word for word introduction for someone else to read and stress the importance of them reading it word for word.

    Have the introduction ask for questions to wait till the end of the presentation and will be answered if there is time, and you will stay until all questions are answered.

    It sounds like you are doing an information presentation, there is one important thing that an information presentation that is different from motivational or training sessions.

    An information presentation use the focus of giving an overview of your subject, you may want to make the statement in your opening that this is an overview of....

    Have fun, enjoy yourself, give a little bit of you to the presentation and you will find who are a match for you.

    Public speaking isn't really about speaking to the public as a whole, it is about expressing your genuine thoughts and beliefs on your subject.

    Mark
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  • Profile picture of the author Norma Holt
    BJ, I would also like to say that a pause after a point of importance is essential so that it sinks in before you start on another point. Repeating such a point is also done so that it emphasizes it more.

    If you use ums and ahs in your normal speak then don't use them in public. It is a dead giveaway that you are just trying to fill in because you don't know your subject. I have tutored radio presenters on this very thing and the importance of it is paramount.

    Norma
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  • Profile picture of the author Ken Leatherman
    The best tip I can think of. DON'T DO IT!

    Just talk to your dog, he will love you no matter how you sound. :p

    Ken
    The Old Geezer


    P.S. Have Fun And Just Be Yourself. Bj, the way you grin they will love you!
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  • Profile picture of the author Eric Reed
    My best advice to you is, pick a spot in the back of the room and focus on it, that way, you appear to be looking at the audience.

    Don't worry about making mistakes, remember, only you know what you are going to say or did not say.

    And the most important advice of all is SMILE ...

    Eric
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  • Be who you are and present your topic with fun, excitement and give value..

    Hope this helps.

    Thanks,
    -Gaj
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  • Profile picture of the author dalvia
    Hey BJ,

    You can do my free 7 day speaking course here:
    Public Speaking | Presentation Skills | Persuasive Speech Topics

    Hope this will give some good tips,

    Kind Regards,
    Dale
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  • Profile picture of the author dalvia
    Hey BJ,

    You can do my free 7 day speaking course here:
    Public Speaking | Presentation Skills | Persuasive Speech Topics

    Hope this will give some good tips,

    Kind Regards,
    Dale
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  • Profile picture of the author BJ Min
    thank you all of you for your amazing and thorough tips...i definitely will look over this and will be practicing on camera...

    kinda nervous but looking forward to it...

    thanks!
    BJ
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    • Profile picture of the author ChrisLang
      Be ready for anything.

      I spoke for the first time at a small seminar, David Carleton's social marketing conference in San Diego and fell flat on my face.

      Why, because I found myself in a room full of people that had no idea what Digg was and half of the room had no idea what WordPress or a blog was.

      The first half hour I had them eating out of the palm of my hand. As soon a I turned to my case study I had spent the last month preparing I turned to look at a room full of lost souls.

      My point? Be prepared for a group of like minded skilled professionals or a bunch of newbies and be ready to switch gears at the drop of a hat.

      If I had asked for a show of hands to see who had blogs or used social bookmarking sites I could have gauged what I was working with and moved to a back up plan for a newbie audience.

      But what ever you do, get out there, take a chance and if (like me) you are new at public speaking then get out there and get your nose bloodied if need be and learn all you can.

      The other thing I learned is if you are going to sell a product as your back-end get a professional printer to create a subset of your sales letter as a 3 piece carbon copy hand out. The host is going to want you to take orders on the spot and expect a kickback. This is how it is done.

      Get this in everyone's hands, if they don't buy they have something they can mail or follow your URL back to the online version. I was in the company of huge marketers and failed miserably but I saw first hand how it is done right by people like Mari Smith.

      Failure is completely underrated. - Kevin Kostner

      What I learned in San Diego? Priceless...
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  • Profile picture of the author Talltom1
    Hey BJ

    Congrats on your speaking gig.

    There's been some awesome advice already posted. But here's something else that's practical.

    Everybody that does public speaking gets 'nerves' to some extent, whether its runaway fear, or an adrenaline rush. Whatever it might be, the key is to make a concious decision to manage thos feelings effectively during your time in front of the audience.

    The problem is that when people are nervous, they start speaking faster and faster, which exacerbates the problem, making you speak still faster. Make a very concious decision to speak SLOWLY. This way you keep your nerves and adrenaline under control. But more importantly, it gives the audience time to comprehend whatever you're telling them.

    Good luck

    Talltom
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  • Profile picture of the author Christie Love
    You're giving a speech? Ok, here are a few things you should know.

    1. Tell them what you are going to tell them. Tell them. Finally, tell them what you told them.

    2. Practice, practice, practice
    Your voice strength, word pronunciation, grammar, eye contact, body languate, presentation, speech until you don't need notes, hand gestures

    3. Be sure to add stories and humor to make it more interesting.

    4. Speak in variation of high and low tones to encourage interest.

    Good luck to you!
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  • Profile picture of the author Christie Love
    Hey BJ,
    You're giving a speech? Ok, here are a few things you should know.

    1. Tell them what you are going to tell them. Tell them. Finally, tell them what you told them.

    2. Practice, practice, practice
    Your voice strength, word pronunciation, grammar, eye contact, body languate, presentation, speech until you don't need notes, hand gestures

    3. Be sure to add stories and humor to make it more interesting.

    4. Speak in variation of high and low tones to encourage interest.

    Good luck to you!
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  • Profile picture of the author SuperSammi
    SHORT ANSWER FOR YOU: get the book Zero-Resistance Selling by Maxwell Maltz and read chapter 4 right away. DONE! :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author Brockster
    if you can, find a toastmasters meeting or 2 and go along. it's free just to go and have a look, and if there's some particularly good speakers at the club you go to, try and pick their brains after the meeting
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  • Profile picture of the author Marty S
    If this is your first public appearance - practice the speech at home while RECORDING yourself on camera. You will be amazed at how many things you pick up that you simply MUST correct.

    I did this myself and found so many uhhhs and duhs and pauses, that it made my stomach turn. Watching myself on video improved my performance more than 1,000%, I am NOT kidding you.
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