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Communication Skills

Communication Skills

This section hosts articles related to public speaking, writing articles/webcopy & presentation skill development. 

Enjoy the articles!

You have to give a presentation along with other people / groups. Would you rather be the first or last? What are the benefits of your decision?

The reason I ask this question is because I have to give a presentation about a technology project my team and I have worked on.

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Unless your presentation is part of a contest i.e. where somebody is judging you, there is probably no tactical advantage to going first or last.

A Leader Takes PeopleI would start by developing the conclusion first. What is the purpose of your speech? What do you want your audience to take away from your speech? Do you want to inform them about some social issue?

Do you want to get them to take action on some social issue?

Once you determine that, start crafting a story that takes your audience up to your closing.

The Success of Your PresentationThere used to be a module on Speech Organization in the Toastmasters Better Speaker Series. I’m not sure if they still use this example.

A young, city-slicker, travelling salesman was delivering a sales pitch to a group of older farmers.

After his pitch was over, he waited … and waited. Eventually, one of the farmers stood up, cleared his throat and said “Well young fellar, you sure know a lot and you had an awful lot to say but we prefer a fellar that bales his hay before he delivers it!”

That story has stuck with me over the years.

Each Time We Face Our FearAt its essence, shyness is merely a lack of self-confidence and skills to use in social settings. Difficulty in public speaking, whether it be to larger groups of people or even to smaller groups, is also related to a lack of self-confidence and a lack of skills.

Therefore, the easy answer is to increase your self-confidence and your public speaking skills. Easy to define but it takes a lot of work to make it happen. A lot of work, but readily achievable.

Assuming you are over the age of 18, finding and joining a local Toastmasters group can go a long way in reducing your shyness and increasing your self-confidence.

Monday, 03 April 2017 03:26

What are some tips for reading out loud?

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Dont Let Your VoiceWhenever i read in school out of a textbook etc. i get nervous. After about 1 paragraph of reading i start to breathe weirdly, taking breaths before every word until i eventually can’t read. Can someone help me to stop this?

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Without knowing you and actually observing you read out loud, it appears you are experiencing performance anxiety.

Reading out loud is a challenging activity for many people. Its like a spotlight is on you and you feel that everyone is waiting for you fail. The words on the paper often take on a life of their own and start moving around so you can’t read them in order. Your breathing going wonky is a physical manifestation of your nervous energy. It has to get out somehow.

Monday, 03 April 2017 03:22

How can I give an impromptu speech?

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Be SincereYou ask a simple question, however providing you a comprehensive answer is anything but simple.

Anybody can give an impromptu speech. Delivering an impromptu speech is simply speaking about a topic that you have no advance warning about and speaking at short notice.

Note that I said anybody can do so, far fewer can do it effectively. It takes practice. You have to get used to answering questions and speaking out loud.

Monday, 03 April 2017 03:22

How can I give an impromptu speech?

Written by

Be SincereYou ask a simple question, however providing you a comprehensive answer is anything but simple.

Anybody can give an impromptu speech. Delivering an impromptu speech is simply speaking about a topic that you have no advance warning about and speaking at short notice.

Note that I said anybody can do so, far fewer can do it effectively. It takes practice. You have to get used to answering questions and speaking out loud.

Monday, 03 April 2017 03:18

Is public speaking an art or skill?

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A Good OratorI would suspect that most responses to this question will say that it is both. I’m going to take a different approach and say that it can be both or either.

Let’s expand upon that a little. The question doesn’t ask about public speaking well, efficiently or productively. It asks about public speaking, arguably, in general terms.

Any time that you are talking to somebody else besides yourself, you are public speaking.

If doesnt challenge you TI graphicI’m going to amend this question to ‘When delivering presentations, what challenges do you encounter most frequently?

Whether I’m giving a presentation at my Toastmasters club, or out in the public, I find that there are a lot of logistics that are challenging.

Each Time We Face Our FearI think the answer to your question lays within your question. How does one stay present … one stays present by actually staying present.

You might have to think about that one for a bit. From one perspective, the present i.e. now, is in relation to living in the past, which we can’t do and living in the future, which we can’t do either.

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