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  • #966234
    Accounts Studio
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    Hi
    I have recently been asked to speak at a couple of networking functions and am after some tips on calming nerves. I am going to sign up for toastmasters but was wondering what other members advise other than practice and making sure I am fully prepared.
    thanks!

    #1016921
    JohnP
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    • Total posts: 7
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    I would say have a structure within which you are going to present your material, and know your topic well. It doesn’t really matter if you don’t say exactly the same thing every time you give a presentation, in reality your audiance doesn’t know what you were planning to say anyway.

    I would also suggest doing a presenting course. I did this recently and got huge value from it.

    #1016922
    bencament
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    I’d also suggest doing a short course on public speaking if it’s something you’re going to have issues with in the long term, I know a few people who have done them and got alot of benefit.

    Personally, when it comes to calming nerves with public speaking, Try begining your presentation with something that will get the listeners to either laugh or smile.

    There’s nothing worse for someone with nerves than looking up and seeing a room full of blank faces, if they’re smiling, you will relax.

    Besides that, just make sure you’re really confident with the first 30 seconds of your presentation, as that’s the time you’ll be feeling the nerves the most.

    #1016923
    Astrid
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    What helped me, was to place a few friends in the audience, they were told to nod and smile at me from time to time. That really helps.
    Look around while you speak, look people into the eyes and smile.

    Oh, my mum always said ‘just imagine all the people in front of you in their undies, they are less scary then.’

    Don’t know if that helps you though ….

    #1016924
    peppie
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    One definition of an expert speaker used to be ‘a person from overseas with slides’!

    More recently I heard an expert described as someone who knows more about a subject than their audience. Just remember that other people are usually more concerned about what everyone thinks of them to be much concerned about you, also they are probably all though your talk thinking that they wish they would have the guts to get up in front of an audience like you are doing.

    A couple of my tips, people warm to a story especially if it is humorous (don’t try jokes unless you are good at it) and even better if it makes you look human. Use illustrations, don’t just rattle through a list of items. have your list but only as a prompt and be prepared to vary it if it seems right to do so, be flexible, stick fairly close to your time limit.

    #1016925
    Burgo
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    I have had to speak a number of times during my working life. Strange but about a year ago I was asked to do a short presentation. Because I hadnt spoke to an audience for a number of years I wanted to bombard them with my interpretation of the subject. It was something that I was passionate about, so I wrote out the speach and delivered it that way. The speach was powerful but because of my passion I became emotional.

    After that I said I would never write out another speach. There is a member of this forum called Geoff Kelly, http://www.kellystrategicinflence.com.au

    There are a couple of downloads that have help me, 1) deliver speeches that inspires action.

    Nerves deep breaths before you start and dont rush. Treat everyone as though they are deaf, and just enjoy the experience.

    I used to be a muzo many years ago and would always have nerves before a performance the smaller the audience the greater the nerves the larger the audience what nerves.

    #1016926
    peppie
    Member
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    Better check that link Burgo, it doesn’t work!

    #1016927
    spotty
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    • Total posts: 36
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    Sophie I have gone down the Toastmasters path and lasted two meetings. I found it very ‘old’ and I actually thought that a freemasons meeting must be held the same way. Not sure where that comparision came from though! I would be interested in doing a speaking course but couldn’t find anything, especially regionally.

    #1016928
    Accounts Studio
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    Thx everyone for your advice – some very useful points in there – good idea Burgo about delivering speeches that inspires action. I think that is a very good point – give them something to think about and concentrate on other than how nervous I may or may not sound lol. The first one in a couple of weeks is only for 10 people and the one after that for about 50.

    #1016929
    DeniseMcNerney
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    Rehearse it over and over in your mind until you have it down pat. Stand up straight, swallow and take your time. They want to see the real person not a robot so if you make the occassional muck up, that will be ok.

    Just relax and be yourself and you will do just fine!

    Tell a good story and tie it in the moral of what you are telling them. I love a gooooood story.

    Good luck! You are going to be Really Really Good at this. :-)

    #1016930
    Public Speaking
    Member
    • Total posts: 3
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    Hi,

    You are not alone. Thousands of people want to improve their public speaking skills. Now you can!

    I’m a Public Speaking Coach in Sydney Australia. Have a look at our Public Speaking Courses .

    You will also receive a FREE copy of my book on Public Speaking when you book into the course. Lunch and morning tea is included in the workshop.

    If you have any questions, please give us a call.

    Trevor Ambrose
    Public Speaking Coach
    Tel: 02 9694 1653
    http://www.changingtools.com

    #1016931
    JohnW
    Member
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    Hi,
    It all starts with confidence.

    It has been said that around 70% of people rank public speaking as their greatest fear.

    When I was 20, I could not put two words together in front of an audience. People would squirm with embarrassment for me at my tongue tied stammering attempts.

    Now, I’m a public speaking ham and I love it.

    My epiphany moment was when I suddenly realised my audience wanted me to succeed. That revelation overcame the ubiquitous “stage fright”.

    After that, it was mostly practice in combination with preparation that others have said here is so important.

    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1016932
    e-SSENT
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    • Total posts: 46
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    I speak in front of people all the time in short bursts and have no problem but if it comes to constructed, long speeches I get pretty nervous and it shows. I must admit to falling into the trap of writing the whole thing out but it also has the advantage of keeping you on track as long as you know the speech well.

    What I’ve found helps too is definitely the topic. Not normally that great at presenting long speeches, I aced a presentation at Uni on Ancient Egyptian art because I adored the topic. I was sick as a dog, drugged out of my skull on pseudoephedrine just so I could stay upright, and to this day large parts of that speech is in a black hole somewhere. However, because I loved the topic, I spoke from the heart and my passion for it must have shown through the drugs and blocked sinuses so I scored well.

    So practice, practice, practice. Know your topic, breathe slowly through the presentation, interact with your audience, don’t be afraid to pause before you speak and “just keep swimming”. :)

    #1016933
    Safe Skies
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    This is a great topic for me..

    I used to have to present all the time in another job, but had a really bad experience and that was that I could not over come the nerve anymore and avoided public speaking on every occasion..

    The time has come for me to over come this and get on with me life and have no restrictions.

    I did try Toastmaster and like another person on here was a little put off by the structure, it was a little like being in a cult setting for me, but I have heard that some of the toastmasters are different so may try another.

    I will be doing a course; I just need to find the right one.

    Cheers

    #1016934
    Speakology
    Member
    • Total posts: 2
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    I teach proven, psychologically-based techniques for managing public speaking nerves. I provide group and individual training at an affordable price in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra. My website, http://www.speakology.com.au has a blog with some tips on how to control your nerves.

    Happy speaking … and remember, as American business writer Tom Peters once said, “public speaking is a skill that can be studied, polished, perfected. Not only can you get good at it, you can get damn good at it ”

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