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Here are a few tips from the methods I use with coaching clients and
in my workshops, and which we also include in our resource kits. As
with any new skill, you can only learn them by doing them.
1. You are most effective when you are able to be yourself with
the group. You may want to spend some time before you speak getting
in touch with how you feel when you feel most yourself. Remembering
how we feel at those times can often help us feel that way again.
2. Many of us think we will be "OK" if we do a good
job and please the audience. What is more likely to make us feel OK
is to be who we are. This is also most likely to create a good connection
with the audience.
3. Stay present to yourself and your audience as much as you
can. Staying in the present moment can often help you do this.
4. You don't need to be afraid of silence. Silences can help
us center ourselves and give time for the audience to settle in. Silences
can allow time for us to find the words to say. Silences can give the
audience time to absorb what you have said. Silences can create emphasis
5. Pause for several seconds before you begin speaking, making
eye contact with two or three people before you begin. Take a breath
or two and let yourself feel your feet connecting to the floor. You
may want to consciously "open your heart" to the audience
before you begin.
6. Find one or more friendly, receptive faces before you begin
and focus on their support during the first part of your talk.
7. Speak to one person at a time. Make eye contact with one person
at a time for a few seconds instead of "scanning" the audience.
8. Instead of feeling you have to give the audience something,
focus more on receiving their support. Paradoxically, if you are extremely
nervous before you begin, focus on putting your audience at ease.
9. Imagine that you are having a conversation with people in
the audience. In some settings you can ask them questions and actually
get people to respond. But most of the time, talking to them as though
you are having a conversation, changes the tone and makes it more personal.
in short sentences as much as possible. This will help you be clearer.
11. When possible, think about your purpose and main point(s)
before you begin. This can help you focus and stay on track.
12. Use "stories", examples, and analogies to connect
to your audience.
© 1999 Daniel Grandstaff
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