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Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking

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  • As you are writing your presentation, are you also making notes about gestures you will use?
    If you are like most of us the answer is probably “no.” Did you know that our brain registers gestures before it registers your words? It will really impact your audience if you will give some time to planning gestures for your next speech. Look at the words you have writte – could you give your speech without speaking a word? Try it! That is how you decide on what gesture to use.

    For example, if you say “It took some time for all of us to look at the top of the mountain.”
    Time – point to your write where a watch would be
    All of us – spread your arms out, palms up
    Look at the top of the mountain – slowly move your head upwards while bringing one hand up, to help your audience ‘see’ the top

    “From helicopters up above, men armed with AK47s, sot at the running elephants.”
    From helicopter up above-Raise one arm high and look up
    Men armed with AK47s – use two hands to hold these huge guns, looking down
    Shot at the … Jerk your arms rapidly back and forth to symbolize rapid fire

    “Snowflakes were falling all around us.”
    Were falling - Raise both hands and wiggle your fingers as you bring your arms down
    All around us – sway you hands below your waist

    “We begged him not to tell Dad.”
    Begged him- hands together as in prayer
    Not - hands spread apart in a palms down fashion

    Moving to a different location when your information or story changes helps break up you speech just as changing your voice does. Tell the first part of your speech in one place. Step forward two steps to tell the middle part, then step back and to the right to wrap it up. Walk forward, slow your voice, look directly at your audience – and deliver your last few lines.

    You face is an essential gesture tool. It can show surprise – eyebrows raised, lips pursed into an “O”
    You might be able to replace a sentence with a look.
    If you say “I was really happy then.” Pause, then smile great big!

    Your legs can show us how someone walked or they can help us stoop down to show something was low or small. If you tiptoed down the hall or stretched to see what was on the other side of the fence, your feet are the best gesture tool you have!

    Talking about football? “Kick” the ball. Run to the 20. Huddle up. These are great phrases that you can PLAN a gesture that supports/defines your words. Your audience will love it!

    Please join us at our meetings on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Thursdays.

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  • Carol C.
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    I have been a salesperson, sales & marketing manager, advisor and have benefited greatly from... more

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    I have been in sales for quite some time and found Toastmasters invaluable to aiding in my... more

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