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Business // Thinking Smart
David S. Chang

How To Give A Great Speech

The past two weeks we covered steps on how to be a better public speaker through preparation and structure of your speech. This week we will cover how to deliver a great speech. Combining these tips can help become a better communicator and help advance your career or cause.

* What To Do Before Your Speech. If you feel nervous before giving your speech, try practicing power poses. Studies show that taking a few minutes to strike a powerful, expansive pose gets you mentally prepared by changing your hormones and behaviors. Visit artofthinkingsmart.com for more information and examples of some power poses. Also use the 777 Technique: Breathe in for 7 seconds, hold it for 7 seconds, and then breathe out for 7 seconds. Breathing and meditation help you calm down. Visualize your success and what you want the end state to be. See yourself as owning the building. You are the king or queen of the room! Do stretching exercise such as shoulder rolls and listen to music if it helps you to relax. That is key in giving a great speech.

* What To Do When Starting Your Speech. When starting, pause for a few moments as soon as you enter your speaking area. This allows the audience to collect their thoughts and get prepared to listen to you. Then thank them for giving you the opportunity to speak. It starts you off with a grateful and genuine attitude. It also tells the audience that it is about them, not you. People are generally nervous because they are fearful of what other people will think of them. Remember your audience wants to hear a great speech – they want you to succeed!

* What To Do During Your Speech. When standing to deliver your speech, if possible do not be like a caged lion and stay only in one spot. Pick a 3×3 or 5×5 spot to move in, not too much so that it is distracting, but enough that you are comfortable and relaxed. Use descriptive and emphatic gestures with your hands. Do not put them in your pockets or in front of your body awkwardly like a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Be as natural as you can and speak from the heart. Smile regularly, it conveys confidence and helps the audience open up to you. Remember that they will mirror your enthusiasm or your nervousness. If you are having fun, so will they. Check your transitions so you can shift gears smoothly. It helps people follow you, and each point builds on the next. Slow down on key points and use the “power of the pause” for effect. Avoid verbal crutches and fillers such as “like” and “um.”

* What To Do To End Your Speech. Try not to conclude with a Q and A or you may lose the audience. It is better to say “Before we conclude, we will have time for Q and A,” then finish with the conclusion. This will help you end strong and the audience tends to remember the last part of your speech.

By preparing effectively for your speech, structuring it with good content, and delivering it with vitality, you can be a great public speaker. This will help you be a better communicator, boost your confidence, and increase your comfort level in social situations.

david@artofthinkingsmart.com

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