"Simple Steps to a Better Speech"
Newsletter July 31, 2013
Preparing for presentations can be anxiety filled for some of us. We can build our reputation or diminish it depending on how well we present. Few people are skilled, so the opportunity to stand out above the crowd is there for us. Here are a few tips to remember about the delivery of your speech that will help alleviate some of that worry.
1. Improve your articulation - Try to eliminate any mumbling during a presentation. Practice is the key requirement and practice out loud, taping yourself so you can hear what the audience hears.
2. Watch your tone - Learn to use inflection and modulation to eliminate monotone speaking. Monotone is the kiss of death for speakers and also for the audience – it puts everyone to sleep, kills your message and damages your credibility. Variations in the strength of speech will provide the stimulus needed to keep your audience on track with your message.
3. Select the appropriate tempo - Generate enthusiasm from your audience by speeding up your tempo, and slow down your words if you want an idea to stick in their minds. Elongating a word creates tremendous emphasis power.
4. Eliminate use of filler words - Sounds such as "er", and "um" distract from the overall presentation. How often have you heard someone begin their talk with Um or Ah? The way to eliminate this is to hit the first word hard with no hesitation and when you finish your sentence – shut up! - until time to hit the next first word hard again.
5. Control the volume of your voice - A whisper is as powerful as a shout. Make sure it is not all the same volume throughout in your delivery – go for variety. Emphasise words with "power in" and "power out" – both grab the audience’s attention.