Tag Archives: public speaking

Public Speaking Tips: The Importance of Speaking Skills

The Importance of Speaking Skills

“While a picture may be worth a thousand words, those words will no doubt come in handy if the picture is distorted or poorly understood. After all, the best way to communicate is through speech.”

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If you want to overcome stage fright and learn to speak with confidence, join a Toastmasters club.

You are welcome to visit our Kampong Ubi Toastmasters Club if you are living in Singapore.

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The Importance of Speaking Skills
By Gerald Gillis

While a picture may be worth a thousand words, those words will no doubt come in handy if the picture is distorted or poorly understood. After all, the best way to communicate is through speech.

The four language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing are all interconnected. Proficiency in each skill is necessary to become a well-rounded communicator, but the ability to speak skillfully provides the speaker with several distinct advantages. The capacity to put words together in a meaningful way to reflect thoughts, opinions, and feelings provides the speaker with these important advantages:

Ability to inform, persuade, and direct. Business managers, educators, military leaders, lawyers, and politicians, among others, seek to develop their speaking skills to such a level that they are transformed into master communicators. Speaking clearly and confidently can gain the attention of an audience, providing the golden opportunity for the speaker to make the message known. Wise is the speaker who gains and then holds the attention of an audience, with well-chosen words in a well-delivered presentation, forming a message that is effective, informative, and understood.

Ability to stand out from the rest. When one thinks of speaking skills, one tends to think of it as a common skill. Think again. The ability to stand before others and speak effectively is not an ordinary skill. Many are deathly afraid of public speaking; others have little ability to form thoughts into sentences and then deliver those words in a believable way. The bad news is that at any given moment the world has precious few with the speaking skills of Winston Churchill; the good news is that a speaker with skills that are honed and developed with constant application and hard work can stand out.

Ability to benefit derivatively. Well-developed verbal skills can increase one’s negotiation skills. Self-confidence is improved. A growing sense of comfort comes from speaking in front of larger and larger audiences. A reputation for excellence in speaking skills can accrue over time, thereby imparting a certain credibility to the speaker.

Career enhancement. Employers have always valued the ability to speak well. It is, and always will be, an important skill, and well worth the effort in fully developing.

Speaking skills are important for career success, but certainly not limited to one’s professional aspirations. Speaking skills can enhance one’s personal life, thereby bringing about the well-roundedness we all should seek.

Gerald Gillis is the author of the award-winning historical novel “Shall Never See So Much.” Visit his website at http://www.geraldgillis.com and his blog at http://geraldgillis.blogspot.com

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Public Speaking Tips : 10 Strategies to Wow and Win Audiences

10 Strategies to Wow and Win Audiences

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Speaking in public provides you the opportunity to promote your brand, your company and yourself. It enables you to expand your circle of influence. Yet many people are reluctant to speak before an audience. Here are ten strategies to help you wow and win over audiences, and become a better speaker.

Practice is the key to helping you improve in public speaking.

Join Toastmasters and find a club that you like to practise your speeches in a friendly environment. You are welcome to visit our Kampong Ubi Toastmasters Club if you are living in Singapore.

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Power Speaking – 10 Strategies to Wow and Win Audiences
By Dawne Simmons

You know the feeling. Your mouth dries. Your palms moisten. Your heartbeat pounds in your ears. Butterflies swoop and soar in your stomach. What’s the cause? You’re about to give a speech. Several studies report that public speaking ranks top among people’s fears. Yet, public speaking also affords you the opportunity to promote your brand, your company and yourself. It enables you to expand your circle of influence. More importantly, public speaking remains a powerful communication tool for your strategic business messages. Here are 10 tips to help you wow and win your audiences, and become a better public speaker.

1. Have something to say. Sounds simple enough. Yet too many speakers merely present encyclopedic reports of facts and figures. Take a stand. Express an opinion. Put your facts in context.

2. Use gentle humor. No, this is not the time to practice your stand-up routine. Try instead to use humorous stories and anecdotes. They can evoke smiles that relax your audience and make them more receptive to your message.

3. Share your personal experiences. You’ve been invited to speak because of your knowledge about a subject. Your experiences – both the successes and stumbles, as well as what you’ve learned from each – add an important human touch.

4. Stay within your allotted time – or even shorter. On the subject of making speeches, Franklin Roosevelt once advised, “Be sincere; be brief; be seated.” Your audience will appreciate your consideration of their time.

5. Allow your personality to shine. Everyone has a personal style – especially you. Allow your manner of speaking to reflect the real you. Are you soft spoken with understated wit? Then don’t try to emulate Carol Burnett or Eddie Murphy. Are you an extrovert with lots of pizzazz? Then it’s a mistake to take on the persona of Queen Elizabeth or Mother Teresa. Make sure it’s your personality that shines in the limelight.

6. Engage your entire body. Use hand gestures, eye contact and facial expressions to get your point across. Whenever possible, move around the stage. Vary your voice with stage whispers or muted yells. Your speech must be more than a dry recitation of facts and opinions. Effective public speaking is a performance that engages the audience. They will appreciate your efforts to keep them entertained.

7. Research your audience. Why is your subject important to them? How will the issue affect their lives? Knowing the answer to those questions enables you to tailor your presentation to the audience’s specific needs.

8. Understand your goals. How do you want your audience to feel after your conclusion? Speeches have the power to persuade, inform, inspire, entertain or move your audience to action. Tailor your remarks to meet both your goals and the audiences’.

9. Practice, practice, practice. Whether you use a full written text, talking points or brief notes, rehearse your remarks. Mark Twain explained that it took him more than three weeks to prepare an impromptu speech. Don’t just read it silently. Speak it aloud. This gives you the opportunity to time your talk and to change words or phrases that trip you up. An added bonus: Practice enables you to transform your anxiety into a poised high-energy performance.

10. Enjoy yourself. Your attitude determines whether public speaking presents stumbling blocks or stepping-stones. Have fun. The more speaking opportunities you accept, the better you’ll become. Like any roller coaster ride, public speaking provides both chills and thrills. Climb aboard. The experience is worth the trip.

© 2009 WordStorm Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.

Dawne Y. Simmons is president and founder of WordStorm Communications, Inc. With more than 20 years of experience in all areas of corporate communications, she assists company leaders develop and promote their strategic messages. For the last 10 years, she has written speeches, presentations, scripts and other business materials for high-level executives in the corporate, government and not-for-profit sectors. An award-winning speaker, Ms. Simmons assists executives improve their on-stage presence. She provides confidential, private coaching sessions that help business leaders quickly improve their presentation skills.

Be sure to visit her website at http://www.wordstormcom.com

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