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Effective Speaking Skills
May 23, 2008 08:45 PM 9817 Views

A survey was carried out in the USA about what was the thing that people were most afraid of. And the answers were ranked. The result was like this

No. 3 - Fear of Income tax (IRS)

No. 2 - Fear of death

No. 1 - Fear of public speaking

Fear of public speaking is something which make everyone nervous.  One of the most famous communication experts was Dale Carnegie who has authored many books on personality and public speaking. These books are a must for anyone who wants to improve their public speaking skills.

Following are some tips for effective speaking skills (Compiled based on my personal experience)

1) The key to effective speaking is preparation and practice. Preparation as to what you want to say is very important. Generally for every one hour you need to talk, you may have to put in 6-10 hours of preparation.

2) Practising your speech is very important. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect! Practice before your friends or using a tape recorder or in front of the mirror.

3) Make notes, a good speech is one which is not read out, but which is delivered without reading out. But you can keep your notes with you, where in you write down the points which you are going to talk about. If you are talking for half an hour on a topic breakdown your speech into 12-15 points and note down only the points on a sheet of paper

4) Time management is very important, you should not finish early (audience will think you have not prepared well!) or finish late (they will be bored). So planning your speech in paper and then practicing it always helps

5) Use lots of examples and illustrations. This will make your speech interesting and add colour.

6) The speech is divided into start, middle and end. Middle is the main topic which you are speaking. Start is very important, start with a joke (select the right joke) or an example. How you start will decide how interested your audience will be.

7) Ending is very important, dont stop abruptly. End by summarising what you have spoken and end again with a joke, example, statistics or some practical advise.

8) Use proper material like a power point slide show or handouts for the audience for a better impact.

9) Dont forget body language, plays a very important role. How you stand/sit, whether you stand at the same place or move around, your hand movements, dress all play an important role

10) Last point, be confident and have a smile on your face, even if you make a mistake, a smile will endear you to your audience.

Hope the above was useful, it has been useful to me in my career.

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