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Four Tips for Advanced Public Speakers

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in Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

By Lee Polevoi

Rookie public speakers read from a written speech. They stand at the podium as if they’re glued there. They go on too long, and their presentations are filled with “ums” and “ahs.”

Veteran public speakers have transcended these novice mistakes. After making numerous presentations, they approach each new speaking engagement with confidence. But there’s always room for improvement. If you’re ready to move to the next level as a public speaker, keep these advanced tips in mind:

1. Be smart about rehearsing.

No matter how many times they appear before the public, well-honed politicians and world leaders practice their speeches. They practice, give themselves a break, then practice again—ideally, once more on the day of the presentation.

2. Don’t read from a script.

Advanced public speakers know their material inside out. Why? When you depend upon a written speech, you’ll likely stand where you can read it and never deviate from what’s on the page. That makes for a robotic, lifeless presentation.

3. Incorporate body language into your presentation.

Audiences crave movement as well as content. Including gestures adds impact to your presentation. If you’re counting, hold out your fingers. If you say “no,” shake your head. Demonstrate sincerity with a hands-out-and-wideapart gesture. Walk round the stage. This enables you to connect with many more audience members and sends the unspoken impression that you’re the one in control. (Tip: Ask the event organizer beforehand if you can move around. If so, request a wireless icrophone.)

4. Use dramatic pauses, and keep it short!

A rookie rushes through his or her speech. A veteran takes advantage of dramatic pauses to lock in audience interest. Adding a bit of drama to your presentation deepens the effect of your words.

And most importantly, say what you’ve come to say, then get off the stage! If you go on too long, you’re guaranteed to lose the crowd. Short, concise speeches are what people remember, not long, dull and boring ones.  

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