Public Speaking Skills – 7 Things Professional Speakers Don’t Do

While mentoring some colleagues to help them overcome their fear of public speaking and to improve their public speaking skills, I noticed a distinct “fear of the flip chart”. What is it and how does one overcome it?

In public speaking much of your communications occurs through movement and gesture. However, in a teleseminar your audience can’t see the movements or gestures. They can on the other hand, hear their effect on you. So you need to adapt your movements and gestures. Where a gesture was use to communicate an emotion you may still want to make that gesture to help the emotion show in your voice. But you will probably need to communicate that emotion using other less visual means as well.

If you simply resolve to make changes or achieve things but don’t have any timeline set to your goals, you run the risk of getting lazy and procrastinating. Set up a plan with deadlines to reach on a regular, perhaps monthly, basis. Then make sure to update your plan if a deadline is missed so that the subsequent deadline doesn’t become impossible to meet.

Watch how they engage their audience, their timing, their use of (appropriate) humour, how they dress, how they incorporate their audio-visual stuff, how they start, how they conclude.

President Bush videos can be found on almost any funny video web site online. Most of these sites have an entire section of President Bush videos for your viewing pleasure. No matter how you feel about Bush, you will definitely find these videos hilarious. For the most part these videos poke fun at President Bush’s poor presentaion skills. They always have him making up words like “presidate”, and other words similar to that.

Would you say, “you’re an idiot, no one will listen to you” or “wow, you’re going to fail”? No, of course not! You would be supportive and encouraging – and help them build their self-confidence through practice, feedback and positive speaking experiences. If you would never dare say these negative words to a child or friend, then why are you saying them to yourself? Why not treat yourself with the same care and gentleness that you use with others?

Focus on one specific problem: Is there something bothering you about your business? Take some time to really define the problem and focus on it. The solution could be as simple as making a few call-outs every day or simply make sure that your clients’ know about a new service you are offering.

Say a sentence or two to someone on the left side of the room, then move to someone in the middle and right. This little technique has been used secretly by some of the most powerful public speakers in the world.

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