Tag Archives: communication skills

Speaking in Public

Public speaking isn’t all that difficult the way we consider it to be. Increasing your speaking skill in public is an achievable goal, especially with a little knowledge of the ways that can help you deliver a great speech with confidence.

Following are some suggestion on the ways you can excel at the Art of Public Speaking

  • Know the room. Be familiar with the place in which you will speak. Arrive early, walk around the speaking area and practice using the microphone and any visual aids.
  • Know the audience. Greet some of the audience as they arrive. It’s easier to speak to a group of friends than to a group of strangers.
  • Know your material. If you’re not familiar with your material or are uncomfortable with it, your nervousness will increase. Practice your speech and revise it if necessary.
  • Practice speaking with your friend(s) or your parents.
  • Prepare a good plan of speaking. There should be:

An opening

3 good middle points;

a summary (conclusion)

  • Don’t try to speak on too many issues. In addition, don’t wander off the topic.
  • Think carefully before you talk. Use silence; it can be a great ally and cause the audience to hang off your next words, wondering what you are about to say. Don’t be intimidated by silent moments.
  • Practice a lot beforehand. If it’s for a presentation or a speech, the more you practice it, the more it will take on a life of its own and feel more comfortable to deliver.
  • Connect with your audience. Use feelings and gestures to intensify a point. Just don’t overdo the gestures or emotion – a little goes a long way.
  • Don’t look directly into people’s eyes. Focus on their foreheads or on a place at the back of the audience, just above the heads in the audience. That way you won’t feel distracted.
  • Let go of assumptions. Just because an audience is not smiling or nodding in agreement does not mean they aren’t listening or feeling positive about your talk. People often do not display encouragement on their faces in an audience situation, so don’t seek it. You’ll know from the applause level at the end how well you went and by then, the speech is over!
  • Never get confused. Try to speak fluently.
  • Speaking fluently encourages you that you are doing all right.

http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/imprintcenter-1533624-art-public-speaking/

 

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Self Esteem & Confidence

Self esteem increases your confidence. If you have confidence you will respect yourself and then you can respect others, improve your relationships and become happier….this is not a selfish goal as you will contribute more and share yourself with the world and those around you.

Confidence matters in :

  • relationships
  • work
  • parenting
  • life skills – decision making, achieving, improving situations or circumstances you don’t like
  • expressing yourself
  • taking up new challenges
  • being open to change
  • self improvement

It comes from several sources:

  • from within yourself
  • from others
  • from your achievements

Here, are some ways you can build your confidence and indirectly your self esteem.

  1. Face your fears challenges seem scary but your fears are usually exaggerated. Facing your fears increases your confidence and boosts your esteem.
  2. Forget your failures – learn from them. Avoid making the same mistakes again but don’t limit yourself by assuming you failed before so you can’t succeed this time. Try again, you’re wiser and stronger.  Don’t be trapped in the past!
  3. Work on your self confidence
  4. Know what you want and ask for it. Learn to be assertive – you deserve your dreams to come true!
  5. Reward yourself when you succeed. No-one else will! Isn’t everything easier when you take time to help yourself? Make a list of your successes and focus on the positive.
  6. Talk – We often make assumptions about a situation or person which are not true. Your attitude and behaviour can be negatively affected so if you have any doubt or question ask and don’t assume you know why or how.
  7. Don’t be defeated! Try something else. You are not going to be defeated by one failed attempt are you? Doesn’t everyone fail before they succeed? All you need is a different approach.
  8. Don’t fall into depression.

http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/imprintcenter-715498-self-esteem-and-social-skills/

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Diction Exercises

Voice and diction exercises can help you speak clearly and be a better communicator. Tongue twisters are excellent exercises that can help you develop the muscles involved in speech. Practice saying tongue twisters slowly, then speed up gradually. Practice and soon you will be able to pronounce the words clearly at a normal rate of speech.

Consonant Tongue Twisters Exercise

Twisters with “t” and “th”

Those toes aren’t these toes. These teas aren’t those teas. This tike ties threads together twice. That tike ties together three threads. Those threads the two tikes tied are tight. Twist twice to tie tightly. Thirty tee-shirts are tan, and thirteen tee-shirts are tie-dyed teal green. The teal tee-shirts total thirteen, the tan tee-shirts total thirty.

Twisters with “r” and “l”

The rickety ladder rattled right and left before it crashed through the glass. Rotten lettuce really reeks. Loose, leafy lettuce reminds me of really pretty, green trees. Real lemon, real lime, which would you pick every time? Ribbons rolled, ribbons loose, hair untied, what’s your excuse? Tip and tap, rip and rap, lip and lap. Tip, rip, lip, tap, rap, lap.

Twisters with “s” and “sh”

She’s so sick, and she’s so sore, I wish her well forevermore. A shout from the south woke the sleeping sherriff. Something sure is fishy in this city. Silver slivers shimmer softly in the sunlight.

General Consonant Tongue Twisters Exercise

  • High roller, low roller, lower roller.
  • I need a box of biscuits, a box of mixed biscuits, and a biscuit mixer.
  • Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
  • A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.
  • If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
  • Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
  • He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts.
  • Friday’s Five Fresh Fish Specials.
  • Imagine an imaginary menagerie manager imagining managing an imaginary menagerie.
  • The Leith police dismisseth us.
  • Twixt this and six thick thistle sticks.
  • Red leather, yellow leather.
  • She sells seashells by the seashore, and the shells she sells are seashells.
  • The sixth Sikh Sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick.
  • Three free thugs set three thugs free.
  • Charles deftly switched straight flange strips.
  • Gwen glowered and grimaced at Glen’s gleaming greens.

Vowel Tongue Twister Practice:

Twisters with “i” and “ee”

Bumblebees briefly buzzed beneath the bins of beans. Feeling ill or feeling well, Phil will hardly ever tell. Feeling full, Phyllis didn’t eat a bit of the beets. Treena tripped on the tree root, and really ripped her raincoat. Tins of tiny sardines filled the field. She sells slippers, sleepers, and tiny little creepers.

Vowel sounds //, /a/, //, //, /I/, //

  • Betty Botter bought some butter, but she said “This butter’s bitter.
  • “If I put it in my batter, it will make my batter bitter.”
  • So, she bought some better butter, better than the bitter butter.
  • When she put it in her batter, the butter made her batter better.

Exercises for Vowels

  • Fancy! That fascinating character Harry McCann married Anne Hammond.
  • Lot lost his hot chocolate at the loft.
  • Snoring Norris was marring the aria.

Exercises for Everything

  • Eleven benevolent elephants.
  • Girl gargoyle, guy gargoyle.
  • She stood on the balcony inexplicably mimicking him hiccupping and amicably welcoming him in.
  • Six sick slick slim sycamore saplings.

Repeaters

  • You know you need unique New York.
  • Toy boat.
  • Lemon liniment.
  • Three free throws.
  • Blue black bugs blood.
  • Red lorry, yellow lorry.
  • Giggle gaggle gurgle.

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April 8, 2012 · 6:24 am

Overcoming Stage fright

Do butterflies attack your stomach each time you’re about to speak? Tired of standing on stage, gripped by fear and paralyzed by nervousness? How would you like to be able to go through the entire presentation, or speak before a crowd with fear firmly at the back of your mind?

Here, are some tips and strategies which you can employ to calm yourself when on stage or speaking in public.

  1. Practice your part. Practice in front of family, friends, and relatives  and even in front of empty chairs. So that you are used to performing in front of people. Practice your speech or presentation and revise it until you can present it with ease.
  2. Know the room – become familiar with the place in which you will speak. Arrive early and walk around the room including the speaking area. Stand at the lectern, speak into the microphone. Walk around where the audience will be seated. Walk from where you will be seated to the place where you will be speaking.
  3. Know the Audience – If possible, greet some of the audience as they arrive and chat with them. It is easier to speak to a group of friends than to a group of strangers.
  4. Learn How to Relax – You can ease tension by doing exercises. Sit comfortable with your back straight. Breathe in slowly, hold your breath for 4 to 5 seconds, then slowly exhale. To relax your facial muscles, open your mouth and eyes wide, then close them tightly.
  5. Visualize Yourself Speaking – Imagine yourself walking confidently to the lectern as the audience applauds. Imagine yourself speaking, your voice loud, clear and assured. When you visualize yourself as successful, you will be successful.
  6. Realize People Want You To Succeed – All audiences want speakers to be interesting, stimulating, informative and entertaining. They want you to succeed – not fail.
  7. Don’t apologize For Being Nervous – Most of the time your nervousness does not show at all. If you don’t say anything about it, nobody will notice. If you mention your nervousness or apologize for any problems you think you have with your speech, you’ll only be calling attention to it. Had you remained silent, your listeners may not have noticed at all.
  8. Concentrate on Your Message – not the medium – Your nervous feelings will dissipate if you focus your attention away from your anxieties and concentrate on your message and your audience, not yourself.
  9. Turn Nervousness into Positive Energy – the same nervous energy that causes stage fright can be an asset to you. Harness it, and transform it into vitality and enthusiasm.
  10. Gain Experience – Experience builds confidence, which is the key to effective speaking. Most beginning speakers find their anxieties decrease after each speech they give.

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Ways to Improve Writing Skills

Writing skills are essential for achieving career and business goals. It is an important medium of communication. Unfortunately, today, these skills are being neglected. If one wants to achieve his goals, superior writing skills are imperative. There are a variety of methods to enhance and hone one’s writing skills. A little effort will go a long way to achieve your goals. This is what sets you apart from your peers.

Communication skills, including writing, are one of the most important transferable skills that workers possess. Most business professionals, such as marketing, finance, and research and development managers, need excellent writing skills to properly convey ideas and concepts. There are many reasons that writing skills are important in the business world.

  • Read in English

When you want to master a language, you can never read enough. Every new book, short story or article you read teaches you new words, new ways to formulate sentences, and more natural ideas on how to use the language. They go to your subconscious and slowly start becoming more natural to you, until one day you notice that you start to think in English and know that you’re on the right track.

  • Improve Your Vocabulary

A good writer has a good vocabulary — one that is both broad and deep — because a good vocabulary is essential to clarity, power, and precision. If you have a large stock of words, you can choose the most effective word. The more words you know, the easier your words will flow. Improving your vocabulary can come from incidental learning from context, direct learning, or a combination of these.

  • Listen to native speakers

Blogging is a form of public speaking, which is why one of the best tips for making your text come alive is to write as you speak.

But if you don’t speak English every day, this is a rather tricky advice to follow. So, one thing I have found useful in practicing conversational writing is to watch and listen natives speak.

  • Improve Your Spelling

Learning to spell is integral to good writing, because correct spelling ultimately helps you communicate your message to others. Since language is shared, then your spelling must follow the accepted standard pattern.

  • When writing in English, think in English

This is one of the most important tips that separate a decent foreign language writer from a lousy one. The lousy writer thinks in his own language and then tries to translate his thoughts to English. But that simply doesn’t work: the idioms, grammar rules, and cultural differences make text written in this manner sound clumsy and unnatural.

  • Improve Your Grammar

Good grammar prevents ambiguity. By contrast, bad grammar confuses your reader, slows their reading, and shows your ignorance, which can lose you respect, influence, and credibility.

Make sure you at least know the parts of speech, such as nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Find fun ways to learn the parts of speech.

  • Practice Writing

The best way to learn anything is by throwing yourself out there and practicing. With writing practice is even more important. When you are just starting out with your blogging, you should write something every day to really get your writing routine developed.

  • Trust your gut

The human brain is an amazing machine. You put in the source material by reading, listening to people talk, and speaking. Then you start writing your own blog posts and tune in the mind set of writing in English. And all of the sudden, words just start flowing from straight from your brain to the keyboard.

  • Proofread

When you have finished writing your article and it seems nearly perfect to you, the next thing to do is to check it for typos, grammar mistakes, and just some plain weird sounding sentences.

  • Have English-speaking friends who are not afraid to correct your mistakes

The best way to learn to sound like a native is to hang out with them as much as you can. By paying a close attention to how they speak, you will learn the sayings they use, the slang, and even the jokes that they throw at you. All of this is important in making your English sound more natural and conversational rather than something learned from a book.

  • Relax

Last comes the most important tip of all: Relax, and enjoy your writing. To be a great writer, you have to put in a lot of effort, but it’s not going to happen overnight. So, while you are practicing, don’t panic. Just write the best content you can with the skill set you have right now.

 

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Email Etiquette Tips

There are many rules when it comes to using emails to effectively communicate in your business with peers or clients. Such as not typing everything in upper case, having a useful signature that includes several ways to contact you to being polite and thankful, etc. From all the rules and protocols that exist in online communications, here are the most important ones everyone should memorize and start using now. 

Answer Swiftly: The golden rule for email is to reply within 24 hours, and preferably within the same working day. If your response email is complicated, just send an email confirming receipt and letting them know that you will get back to them.

Use a meaningful subject line: Try to use a subject that is meaningful to the recipient as well as yourself. It also makes it easier  to search for old emails when the subject line is relevant and specific to the content of the email.

Don’t abuse the “Reply to All”: Only use Reply to All if you really need your message to be seen by each person who received the original message.  Sending off irrelevant or unnecessary replies to  everyone on the list is just annoying and confusing.

Use the Bcc field:  When sending to many people, some people put all the email addresses in the  To: field. There are two drawbacks to doing that: (1) the recipient knows that you have sent the same message to a large number of recipients, and (2) you are publicizing someone else’s email address without their permission. Instead, consider using the Bcc: field. Put your mailing list group name in To: field in their email (leaving the To: field blank may look like spam). If you have Microsoft Outlook and Word you can do a mail merge so each recipient receives their own email, or create a mailing group in your email software if it has that utility.

Don’t leave out the message thread: Include the original mail in your reply, in other words click ‘Reply’, instead of ‘New Mail’. We all receive many emails and we can’t remember each individual email. Leaving the thread may take a fraction longer in download time, but it saves the recipient time looking for the related emails in their inbox.

Read your email before you send it: Treat email like any other official document.  Read it before you send it. Spelling and grammar errors are just as unfortunate in email as anywhere else in your other written communication. Look out for potential misunderstandings, the tone, and inappropriate comments; we use email because it is quick and easy but precisely that quickness may cause more trouble than you bargained for!

Don’t disclose confidential information: Email is just too risky a place to include confidential information. Ask  yourself if you would want the content of your email displayed on a bulletin board. Never make libelous,  sexist or racially discriminating comments in emails, even as a joke. Consider implementing a Disclaimer on the bottom of all corporate emails with statements on Breach of Confidentiality, Virus Liability, etc.

Avoid Abbreviations/ Acronyms & emoticons: Be careful using email abbreviations such as BTW (by the way) and LOL (laugh out loud) in business emails. The same goes for emoticons, such as the smiley :-). A lot of  people don’t know what they mean, so it’s better to drop them.

Don’t attach unnecessary files: wherever possible try to compress attachments and only send attachments when they are productive. Make sure you have good virus software in place to scan your outgoing emails – a customer would not be happy if you send them documents riddled with viruses!

Be concise:  Do not make an email longer than it needs to be. Email is harder to read than printed communications.  A long email can be very discouraging and can be abandoned before the recipient gets to your final point all the way down at the bottom.  If it has to be long, consider including a synopsis at the top of the email.

Use the proper structure & layout:  Reading from a screen is more difficult than reading from paper so the structure and layout is very important for email messages. Make your paragraphs short and use blank lines between each paragraph. When making points, number them or separate each point with blank lines to keep the overview.

Do not write in CAPITALS: IF YOU WRITE IN CAPITALS IT SEEMS AS IF YOU ARE SHOUTING!! :This can be highly annoying, difficult to read and might trigger an unwanted response in the form of a  flame mail (you get yelled back at!). Therefore, try not to send email text in capitals.

Do not request delivery and read receipts: This will almost always annoy your recipient before he or she has even read your message. Besides, it usually does not work anyway since the recipient could have blocked that function, or his/her software might not support it, so what is the use of using it? If you want to know whether an email was received it is better to ask the recipient to let you know that it was received.

Do not recall a message: Chances are that your message has already been read. A recall request just looks silly then. It is better to send an email saying you have made a mistake. This will look much more honest than trying to recall a message.

Do not copy a message or attachment without permission: do not copy a message or  attachment belonging to another user without permission of the originator; you might infringe on  copyright laws.

Avoid long sentences: as mentioned earlier, email is harder to read than printed material. People don’t give email the same brain power as they do when reading for example a letter.  Try to keep  your sentences to no more than 15-20 words.

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Learn Assertiveness & be Assertive

Learn to say what you mean, calmly and clearly, right when you need to.

Lack of assertiveness can cause problems in all sorts of situations, not least in relationships and at work.

Assertiveness training often misses a vital ingredient – the ability to stay calm while stating your case, which often causes people to stop trying – they think being more assertive is beyond them.

Being Assertive is not just using a certain set of communication skills or behaviours. Assertiveness is, first and foremost an attitude of mind with an accompanying set of beliefs about yourself and the world around you.

Many people go on assertiveness training courses expecting an instant personality transplant. You cannot change the message without changing the messenger, so assertiveness begins by examining the hidden beliefs we have about our worth and the worth of other people.

Following Assertive Rights will help you understand what exactly Assertiveness is.

  • I have the right to judge my own behavior, thoughts and emotions and to take the responsibility for their initiation and consequence. The behavior of others may have an impact upon me, but I determine how I choose to react and/or deal with each situation
  • I have the right to offer neither reason nor excuse to justify my behavior. I need not rely upon others to judge whether my actions are proper or correct. Others may state disagreement or disapproval, but I have the option to disregard their preferences or to work out a compromise. I may choose to respect their preferences and consequently modify my behavior. What is important is that it is my choice.
  • I have the right to judge whether I am responsible for finding solutions to others’ problems. I am ultimately responsible for my own psychological well-being and happiness. I may feel concern and compassion and good will for others, but I am neither responsible for nor do I have the ability to create mental stability and happiness for others.
  • I have the right to change my mind. As a human being, nothing in my life is necessarily constant or rigid. My interests and needs may well change with the passage of time. The possibility of changing my mind is normal, healthy and conducive to self-growth. Others may try to manipulate my choice by asking that I admit error or by stating that I am irresponsible; it is nevertheless unnecessary for me to justify my decision
  • I have the right to say “I don’t know.”,  “I don’t understand” & “I don’t care.”
  • I have the right to make mistakes and be responsible for them. To make a mistake is part of the human condition. Others may try to manipulate me, having me believe that my errors are unforgivable, that I must make amends for my wrongdoing by engaging in proper behavior.
  • I have the right to be independent of the good will of others before coping with them. It would be unrealistic for me to expect others to approve of all my actions, regardless of their merit. If I were to assume that I required others’ goodwill before being able to cope with them effectively, I would leave myself open to manipulation. It is unlikely that I require the goodwill and/or cooperation of others in order to survive. A relationship does not require 100 percent agreement.
  • I have the right to be illogical in making decisions. I sometimes employ logic as a reasoning process to assist me in making judgments. However, logic cannot predict what will happen in every situation. Logic is not much help in dealing with wants, motivations and feelings. Logic generally deals with “black or white,” “all or none” and “yes or no” issues. Logic and reasoning don’t always work well when dealing with the gray areas of the human condition.

Assertive communication means that a person respects the rights and feelings of other people but still is direct and honest, clarifying one’s needs to others. Some people are naturally assertive, but many of us are not and it is something that I think we all should learn because the skill of assertiveness helps us greatly reduce the level of interpersonal conflict in our lives which helps us to avoid a remarkable source of stress.

 

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Body Hardly tells a Lie!

There is no specific advice on how to use your body language. What you do might be interpreted in several ways, depending on the setting and who you are talking to. You’ll probably want to use your body language differently when talking to your boss compared to when you talk to a girl/guy you’re interested in. These are some common interpretations of body language and often more effective ways to communicate with your body.

  • You are and everyone is the unique creation; neither a product of assembly line nor a sheep from the herd. Love your body language the way you feel most comfortable with it.
  • Don’t cross your arms or legs – You have probably already heard you shouldn’t cross your arms as it might make you seem defensive or guarded. This goes for your legs too. Keep your arms and legs open.
  • Use your both hands if you are conveying anything through hands.
  • Have eye contact, but don’t stare – If there are several people you are talking to, give them all some eye contact to create a better connection and see if they are listening. Keeping too much eye-contact might creep people out. Giving no eye-contact might make you seem insecure. If you are not used to keeping eye-contact it might feel a little hard or scary in the beginning but keep working on it and you’ll get used to it.
  • While talking to a person, make your face, hands, legs and entire body directed to that person.
  • Never ever stare at head or much lower part below the neck, try to maintain parallel sight. Actually staring at head shows domination and staring at lower body parts shows servility.
  • Don’t be afraid to take up some space – Taking up space by for example sitting or standing with your legs apart a bit signals self-confidence and that you are comfortable in your own skin.
  • Make your body posture friendly with the other person but always maintain a distance.
  • Relax your shoulders – When you feel tense it’s easily winds up as tension in your shoulders. They might move up and forward a bit. Try to relax. Try to loosen up by shaking the shoulders a bit and move them back slightly.
  • Nod when they are talking – nod once in a while to signal that you are listening. But don’t overdo it and peck like Woody Woodpecker.
  • Whatever you say your body must also agree with it.
  • Listen carefully and reply with the same tone of voice of the question being asked to you. It will show you have equal strength and power and the other person will regard you.
  • Try to use “we” and “you” rather using “I”.
  • You can touch your face and can rub your hair but don’t do if not needed.
  • Keep a good attitude – last but not least, keep a positive, open and relaxed attitude. How you feel will come through in your body language and can make a major difference.

You can change your body language but as all new habits it takes a while. Especially things like keeping you head up might take time to correct if you have spent thousands of days looking at your feet. And if you try and change to many things at once it might become confusing and feel overwhelming.

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Public Speaking

The primary difference between a poor speech and a good one is in its delivery. The real challenge of public speaking is the actual presentation of the speech. Proper delivery techniques should be used to successfully communicate the substance of the speech to the audience. Nonverbal communication accounts for approximately 93% of the communication process. Essentially this means that how the presentation is delivered is more important than what is said. To present a speech effectively, the following skills should be developed: overcoming nerves, developing stage presence, refining vocal qualities, maximizing power of expression, making eye contact, and using presentation aids.

Preparing a Speech can be broadly divided in to two categories.

Preparation

  • Topic and Purpose – Make sure the topic you choose overlaps with their knowledge and interests with the interests and information needs of the audience. Presentations on general topics are more difficult to prepare and present than presentations on narrower topics. The immediate purpose of the Public speaking is to communicate your idea, thought & view point across to the audience. For this to happen, the speaker should be effective in persuading or informing the audience.
  • Audience Analysis – Speakers should also perform an “audience analysis.” Sometimes this involves gathering new information about an audience; sometimes it just requires taking account of information they already have as they plan and develop a presentation. Common aspects of audience analysis include: typical age, gender, group affiliations, education, type of employment, knowledge of the topic, attitudes about the speaker and the topic, and personal or professional interests that might be relevant to the topic.
  • Content – We think content should receive significant time and attention during preparation. After all, it’s the content that contains the message! Good public speaking presentations also include examples, illustrations and supporting stories that show how the information presented applies to the lives of the audience members. Most good speakers can tell a few jokes or give an enjoyable after-dinner speech. But the real work of public speaking is to inform or persuade. Therefore, it is important to present real information to their audiences, provide new insights for them, and convince them that the message rests on solid evidence. Simply testifying to the strength and sincerity of our own beliefs does not guarantee that anyone else will accept them.
  • Structure – The speaker must decide whether he or she is talking about steps in a process, problems and solutions, general categories of a broader topic, a historical sequence, case examples, and so on. Strong presentations are built around a logical structure that works for the topic and helps the audience follow the speech. The structure helps the speaker decide which main point to address first and the order of the points that follow. If a presentation is just a jumble of everything we know about a topic, it can confuse the audience. If people get confused, they assume it s the speaker s fault and tend to quit listening.
  • Developing the Introduction – The introduction is a vital part of the presentation because it sets the tone for what is to follow. A good introduction does the following:
  • Gets attention
  • Discloses the purpose
  • Identifies the speaker
  • Establishes Rapport
  • Gives an advance summary
  • Developing a Strong Conclusion – The conclusion should bring the presentation to closure. It should close the “loop” opened by the introduction. Where the introduction gives an advance notification of what will follow, the conclusion should review and reiterate the main points that have been covered. Where the introduction tells the audience how the presentation will benefit them, the conclusion should specifically tell them how and under what circumstances to apply the information provided. The conclusion should also touch again on the audience interests served by the material provided. This motivates them to remember and use the information.

Delivery

Most competitors work very hard on their speech mechanics, so delivery is generally strong. Thorough preparation and rehearsal, focused on good standards of performance, is the key

  • Notes vs. Memorization – Each speaker should do what he or she can do best. It’s certainly reasonable to memorize presentations when preparing for competition. Speakers want to be prepared so they don t forget anything important. But to memorize a speech, you have to write it out first. It turns out that we don t write the way we usually speak. In writing we use longer words, more formal phrasing and longer, more complex sentences. So, when speakers recite written material from memory it can sound a little stiff, as though they are reading from a book instead of speaking to an audience. Many good speakers use a keyword outline of their main points and any essential information like statistics and direct quotations. Since they aren’t following a script, they’re able to speak with personal pronouns, shorter words, shorter sentences and even sentence fragments. It just makes sense that this kind of speech is easier to remember and deliver effectively.
  • Wording – Good public speaking is only slightly more formal than ordinary conversational speech. Long words may sound important, but they don t necessarily communicate better. Some good rules to follow are:
  • don’t use any words you don t think your audience will understand,
  • don’t use any words you aren’t sure you know how to pronounce correctly,
  • don’t use any words you wouldn’t care to define in response to a judge’s question,
  • don t use any long words if you know short words that will do just as well,
  • never use two or more words when one word will do the job.
  • Movement – Many effective speakers stay at the podium, others prefer to move around. From my experience, I suggest that neither approach is automatically superior. There have been “movers” and winning “podium standers” speeches. The key is what works for the speaker. If the movement seems spontaneous and it emphasizes and supports the presentation, then it can be very effective. On the other hand, movement can also appear mechanical, detracting from the immediacy of a presentation. Also, if the movement seems random or nervous, it will only detract from the speech.
  • Gesture – Gestures and movements, like many other nonverbal communications, can either tremendously reinforce and clarify the speech, or distract the audience from the message. In order to eliminate nervous habits, the speaker must first identify any tendencies that may be exhibited. The best way to do this is by videotaping a practice delivery and analyzing the tape. It often helps to have someone else assist with the tape analysis since speakers tend to focus more on how they sound than on their mannerisms. Another benefit of movement is that it helps to engage the audience. They pay more attention, especially if the speaker is moving towards them. As speakers learn to read the audience’s feedback, they can use movement to respond. However, one of the most important factors of movement is that it looks natural. Movement that looks rehearsed takes away from the speech; unnatural movements do not help the speaker feel more at ease. Also, care should be taken to not go overboard. Pacing and overuse of gestures and movements distracts from the presentation.
  • Vocal Delivery – Some people are born with better voices than others. However, just about everyone can learn effective vocal delivery. The keys are comfort and variety. As speakers gain experience, they will discover the vocal pitch and volume that are most comfortable for them most of the time. Pitch means how high or low a voice sounds within its own range. Never try to “sound like an orator,” our natural voice will always sound better. Then, to add emphasis or help the audience interpret the meaning of the presentation, competitors should punctuate with changes in pitch, rate, and/or volume. Use a fairly conversational delivery for most of the presentation and save the extra volume and emphasis for when they are needed. Finally, effective delivery requires correct pronunciation. If a word is too hard to pronounce, choose a simpler word.
  • Interaction with Audience – The best presentations seem more like conversations than lectures or sermons. That’s because the best speakers know that audiences like to participate, to be involved. One way to do this is with the rhetorical question. (“What would life be like without agriculture?” or, “Who wants their children to live in a world without clean water?”) Speakers don’t ask these questions because they want the audience to answer out loud. Instead, the speaker wants them to answer in their own minds. When they do, they are participating in the presentation, even though they aren’t saying anything. Another way to involve the audience is to acknowledge their reactions and opinions (“When I say agriculture, I know that most of you are thinking ‘cows and tractors,’ or, “If you re like most people our age you ve never even thought about problems with the local landfill.”) These techniques allow a speaker to talk with an audience, as he or she would in a conversation, as opposed to merely talking in front of them.

Finally, smiling, making lots of eye contact and using personal pronouns such as you, we, us, and our help increase interaction and a sense of identification between speaker and audience.

Develop and deliver your presentation using these five key concepts and you’ll be a successful speaker.

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“Communication works for those who work at it”

Good communication skills are skills that facilitate people to communicate effectively with one another. Effectual communication engages the choice of the best communications channel, the technical know-how to use the channel, the presentation of information to the target audience, and the skill to understand responses received from others. Self development, interpersonal skills, mutual understanding, mutual cooperation and trust is also important to set a complete channel of most effective and winning communication skills.

There are mainly three types of communication skills, expressive skills, listening skills and skills for managing the overall process of communication. The basic fundamental of all these types of communication is emotional skills.
Expressive skills are required to convey message to others through words, facial expressions and body language. Listening skills are skills that are used to obtain messages or information from others. These help to clearly understand what a person feels and thinks about you or understand the other person closely. Skills for managing the overall process of communication help to recognize the required information and develop a strong hold on the existing rules of communication and interaction.

Importance of communication skills can never be ignored or neglected. These skills are the key to executing good management skills. With good management skills, you can have a team of members who together create an ambience of open communication, concise messages, probe for clarifications, recognize nonverbal signals, and mutual understanding. Good communication involves a set of complex skills.
Here are some tips to good communication skills :

  • Maintain eye contact with the audience: This is vital as it keeps all those present involved in the conversation. It keeps them interested and on the alert, during the course of the conversation.
  • Body awareness: One needs to be aware of all that their body is conveying to them, as well as others. For instance, if there is anxiety rising during the course of a conversation then one feels thirsty and there maybe a slight body tremor. At that point one needs to pause and let someone else speak. A few deep breaths and some water works as the magic portion at this point
  • Gestures and expressions: One needs to be aware of how to effectively use hand gestures and the way they need to posture their body to convey their messages effectively. Sometimes it may happen that they verbally convey something, but their gestures and facial expressions have another story to tell.
  • Convey one’s thoughts: It is important for one to courageously convey what they think. This is because when things are left unsaid, then what is being spoken is not as convincing as it should be. Then a lack of confidence develops.
  • Practice effective communication skills: One should practice speaking and listening skills as often as possible.

The way one communicates does not only have an impact on their own profession and personal relations, but also an effect on others. Those who do not have appropriate communication skills are usually ignored or simply kept at bay. Where are those with good communication skills are looked upon and well respected. After all a good listener and a good orator are popular in their groups – professional and personal.
When you take the time to acquire and hone good communication skills you open yourself up to better relationships, more career opportunities, and increased self-confidence. Moreover, you reach higher levels of mutual understanding and cooperation while successfully attaining your goals.

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