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Note on Public Speaking

Madhukar N Hiregange FCA

 

In ancient Greece and Rome oratory was studied along with mathematics and science as essential skill.

 

The advantages of public speaking are many. Some of them are discussed below- some you could add:

 

Main Advantages

 

  1. Helpful in career as you would get a better initial place/ emoluments. As you work it will help to move up faster as work done by juniors as they clearly understand you. More importantly the Boss also is kept in the loop as to what is happening.
  2. When you speak in public you own self esteem increases. More you speak more the confidence increases. A very great confidence booster.
  3. Opportunity comes knocking when you are able to meet so many people and more importantly more people come to know what are your capabilities.
  4. The intelligence, analytical ability and creativity in you gets to blossom only when communicated. Otherwise labeled as a nerd or book worm though knowledgeable and intelligent.
  5. Communication with the opposite sex. We have to live with them till we are here on earth.
  6. ..

 

 

Subsidiary Advantages

 

  1. An opportunity to meet respectable people on even terms
  2. Ego gratification. Prime driver in many cases. I will show him.
  3. Introducing evangelist ideas dear to you to the audience.
  4. ..

 

 

 

 

Steps in Presentation

 

  1. Assess the Situation:

What is the time and date. Are there any important events on that day or previous day. Whether the audience has heard you. Are you the only speaker or are there many. If so when towards the end, after lunch.

Whether the topic is worthwhile, appropriate, culturally sensitive.

Why are you speaking- to inform, persuade, entertain.

Develop the central idea from this.

 

  1. Analyse the Situation:

Learn all you can about the audience. Individual needs ( hurts/ problems) if possible. Meet their needs. ( Solve the problem) Tell them how also.

 

  1. Research the Topic.

It should be apparent to the audience that you have the expertise and you have put in the effort.

Use your experience and knowledge

Work with experts

Find evidences to back up claims.

 

  1. Organise and write the speech

There should be a beginning, middle and end.

Beginning with drama- use intriguing quotation; use startling statistics; use of quote or statement of a known personality. Preferably current

Plan to use visual aids; Power points: To be used skillfully and not read out. Focus should be on you.

Use of illustrations/ examples ( case laws provide ample information on this)

While preparing the talk, write down the results you want; the value you will share; how audience is better off hearing your presentation and spending time with you.

Use humor to drive home a point.

 

  1. Deliver the presentation

Choice you have is extempore: broadly prepared ( depth necessary) or manuscript, memorized, without preparation ( can be negative)

Demonstrate dynamism. Speak with passion or just leave a note. This involves energetic, vigourous, exciting, inspiring, spirited, stimulating

Manage nervousness ( see Annexure –1)

Smile as often as possible, Remember a few of the audience names

Interact with audience: Start with a non verbal handshake; do not put them down; ( they are not better than you nor worse than you)  let them know if they can question you as you go along. Risk is that they may jump the gun. Only if you are able to fend this. Little risky at initial stages. Questions at last. Audience has come with one or 2 questions. You should meet them if possible.

Dress neatly and conservatively. Light colors are friendly. Normally audience does not notice what you are wearing. 

Surprisingly the introverts make the best speakers.

Emotional bond with the audience to be created so that they are touched/ inspired.

 

  1. Discern Others Talk

Observe the delivery skill exhibited

How the speaker adapts to particular situations

 

Opportunities to Speak

  1. Parents birthday/ anniversary or achievement- acknowledging their contribution
  2. Brother has done well- acknowledge his achievement
  3. Sharing of good news of oneself – acknowledge family contribution
  4. Friends group- positive actions/ events
  5. Teach subjects to colleagues/ juniors, poor students.
  6. Introduction of speaker
  7. Welcome
  8. Vote of thanks
  9. Topical presentations
  10. Be a volunteer for social projects
  11. ..

Golden Rule: Be Positive; Be brief; Be gracious and be sincere. “I do not know, I can check up on the break.” Keep integrity.

 

Annexure – 1      How to Deal With nervousness?

 

Nervousness evidenced by

Solution

Excessive Perspiration

Relax, assume audience is happy

Unexplained anxiety

 As above

Drop in body temperature

As above

Sore throat, dry lips

Drink some water

Trembling knees, lips and voice

Breathe deeply, Use podium, think that you will succeed

Increased Palpitations

As above

Nauseating feeling

As above

Irregular Breathing

As above

Toilet need

Use toilet

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to the above do not take food immediately before the talk; ward off physical discomfort ( clothing, use of presentation tools); greet as many, smile at others, use their name in the presentation for positive example. Have an eye contact with all.  If uncomfortable only with those with whom comfortable.

Preparation and practice is the ultimate tool for avoiding nervousness. If required rehearse before another and seek feedback.

Imagine that you are going to do well. Imagine all people clapping from you.

Remember the audience wants you to succeed.

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