10 Tips to Control Nervousness

A Prepared Speaker Should Never be Nervous:-Dr. R. Smedley

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Feeling some nervousness before speaking to any audience is natural and even healthy if you can channel that nervousness.  Some nervous energy can show that you are passionate and care about what you are presenting to your audience. Too much nervousness will detract from your performance.  Your physical preparation is a very important part of your Preparation and Practice.

10 Tips you can use to control your nervousness.

  1. Know The Room: Become familiar with the speaking are before you are called to speak. The view from the speaking are is quite different from the audience view or the view from the back of the room.
  2. Know You Audience: Meet and if possible greet some of your audience as they arrive. This can help you connect with them as you look out into the audience.
  3. Know Your Material: In the words of Dr. Ralph C Smedley “ A prepared speaker should not be nervous”. Nervousness will increase if you don’t know your material.
  4. Relax: Get on your feet, stretch a bit before taking to the stage.
  5. Visualize yourself giving your speech: Harbor positive thoughts. Visualize yourself being successful and you will be successful.
  6. Think Positive: Audiences don’t want you to fail. Smile and they will smile back at you.
  7. Don’t apologize: Don’t call attention to any of your slipups. Those slipups may very well have gone unnoticed.
  8. Focus on the message: When you focus on the message, your attention moves from your anxieties outwardly towards your message and your audience.
  9. Turn nervousness into positive energy: Add vitality and enthusiasm to harness your nervous energy.
  10. Gain Experience. Experience Builds confidence: Grasp every opportunity you get to SPEAK. Grasp every opportunity you get to EVALUATE. That is the key to becoming a better speaker.

Are Your Making Your Case

Great Speeches are not written they are rewritten:  

Topic Selection:

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WHEN YOU DELIVER A SPEECH YOU ARE MAKING YOUR CASE

The topic you choose can decide your place in any speech competition. While you should choose a topic you are passionate about, keep in mind you have to connect with your audience to be successful. Connecting with your audience is important at all levels of competition. If you turn your Real Life Events into unique Powerful Stories using persuasion and the power of the spoken you will do well.    

Avoid the following:

  • Current events that were in the news media over and over.
  • Events that may have varied audience opinions  – So too will your judges.
  • Topics too big to be delivered in 5 to 7 minutes – Keep It Simple

Purpose:

The purpose of your speech should be clearly defined very early in your presentation.

  • Are you speaking to inform
  • Are you speaking to entertain
  • What do you want your audience to Think-Feel – Or Do after hearing the speech.

Don’t Tell Them–Show Them-Take Them:

  • Be descriptive – Use word pictures to convey your message
  • Be concise but clear – Every unanswered question becomes a distraction
  • Practice your personal stories and anecdotes so that they don’t sound rehearsed-Keep them real.

Have you ever tried to buy a piece of equipment from someone who doesn’t know how to operate it? Knowing your case also means knowing exactly what you are asking for and knowing when you got it. Be factual, where possible use statistics.  Do not overstate your case. You’ll undermine your credibility.

Lead with your strongest point or argument:

First impressions are indelible. Most Toastmasters speeches are 5 to 7 minutes. In your first minute, you can win over or lose your audience.  Give some indication of where you are going or taking them. Get your audience’s permission to take them

Communicate clearly and concisely:

Make brevity a part of your style.  The most celebrated example of brevity: The Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War, on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Lincoln spoke for 2 minutes 270 words. Edward Everett delivered a two-hour oration before Lincoln’s 2 minutes of dedicatory remarks. Great speeches are not written they are rewritten. Write and then deliver or deliver and then write. Whatever your choice happens to be, write your speech – Focus on your choice of words.  Check to see if each sentence can be said in fewer words.

Your Delivery:

Everyone has a personal manner of speaking.  Be yourself.  Most people can process information only at a moderate rate. Find your voice. Don’t speak too fast or too slowly. Don’t try to sound like someone else.  Use strategic pauses for emphasis. Practice enunciating each word clearly.

Your Conclusion:

Your conclusion is just as important as your opening. Recall some of the main points of the presentation. Leave enough time to summarize and emphasize your take away message. The quality of your performance and not the trophy will determine if you have made your case.

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