Public Speaking Skills For Dummies

Public Speaking Skills For Dummies

by Alyson Connolly
Public Speaking Skills For Dummies

Public Speaking Skills For Dummies

by Alyson Connolly


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Project self-assurance when speaking—even if you don't feel confident!

When you speak in public, your reputation is at stake. Whether you're speaking at a conference, pitching for new business, or presenting to your Executive Board, the ability to connect with, influence, and inspire your audience is a critically important skill. Public Speaking Skills For Dummies introduces you to simple, practical, and real-world techniques and insights that will transform your ability to achieve impact through the spoken word.

In this book, champion of public speaking Alyson Connolly takes you step by step through the process of conceiving, crafting, and delivering a high-impact presentation. You’ll discover how to overcome your nerves, engage your audience, and convey gravitas—all while getting your message across clearly and concisely.

• Bring ideas to life through business storytelling
• Use space and achieve an even greater sense of poise
• Get your message across with greater clarity, concision, and impact
• Deal more effectively with awkward questions

Get ready to win over hearts and minds —and deliver the talk of your life!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781119335573
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 08/07/2018
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Alyson Connolly, BFA, MFA is a voice and public speaking coach who specializes in painless public speaking and overcoming perfor- mance anxiety. She is also a keynote speaker, having been a performer her whole life, starting out as a child actor, and has been a teacher of drama and theater for the past 30 years.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

How This Book Is Organized 2

Foolish Assumptions 3

Icons 4

Beyond the Book 4

Where to Go from Here 4

Part 1: Laying the Groundwork 7

Chapter 1: Getting Started with Public Speaking 9

Dealing with Issues That Stand in Your Way 10

Fighting the fight, flight, or freeze response 10

Affirming your worth with affirmations 11

Creating reality with visualization 11

Getting rid of tension 12

Improving Your Body Language 12

Gesturing 13

Moving 14

Making eye contact 14

Adjusting Your Pace 15

Perfecting the pause 15

Supporting Your Breath 16

Boosting Confidence through Preparation and Training 17

Breathing (your own) life into speeches 18

Planning out your speech 18

Getting ready for the big day 19

Eating right to feel good 20

Honing Your Delivery 20

Articulating 20

Resonating 21

Using the right tone 21

Adding visuals 21

Getting laughs 22

Telling stories 23

Dealing with the Audience 23

Excelling in Interviews 24

Mastering the Fine Art of Conversation 25

Dropping the Ball and Still Managing to Score 26

Wearing Clothes That Spell Success 26

Chapter 2: Getting Your Brain in the Game 29

Recognizing the Pitfalls of Negative Thoughts 30

Saying no to negatives: Avoiding your triggers 31

Perfecting perfectionism 32

Nixing those niggling negatives 33

Keeping the Brain’s Fight, Flight, or Freeze Response in Check 34

Saying yes to adrenaline 34

Stopping cortisol in its tracks 35

Thinking like a caveperson 36

Leveraging the power of neuroplasticity 37

Adopting a Yes Let’s Attitude 38

Knowing When to Say No 39

Part 2: Diagnosing and Treating Common Afflictions 41

Chapter 3: Overcoming Performance Anxiety 43

Staying Loose: Tension Can Ruin a Speech 44

Proper posture: Alignment isn’t just for cars 44

Identifying the tension 47

Releasing the tension 48

Chin Up and Don’t Slouch 49

Breathing as a sloucher 49

Why feeling bad ends up sounding bad 50

Using Your Body to Battle the Fight, Flight, or Freeze Response 53

Chapter 4: Curing Common Vocal Problems 57

Vanquishing Vocal Fry 58

Recognizing vocal fry and its causes 58

Seeing why vocal fry is perceived negatively 59

Undoing Upspeak 60

Knowing why we upspeak 61

Decomissioning Devoicing 62

Recognizing devoicing 62

If you’re a natural devoicer 63

Battling Breathiness 64

How breathing works 65

What breathiness does to credibility 66

Negating Nasal Voice 66

Preventing the Push: Speaking Evenly 67

Disconnecting your thoughts and feelings 68

Wingin’ it 68

Stopping Stuttering 69

Breathing to alleviate stuttering 70

Rolling with word flubs 70

Denying the Drop 71

Chapter 5: Conquering Impostor Syndrome: You Are Who You Think You Are 73

Feeling Like a Phony 74

Diagnosing yourself 74

Critiquing the criticism 75

Understanding Why It Happens 76

Feeling a failure onstage and off 77

Lucking into success 78

Being Yourself 79

Part 3: Preparing Your Speech and Training Yourself 83

Chapter 6: Crafting a Captivating Speech 85

Planning and Preparing 86

What’s Your Point? 86

Hooking Your Audience 87

Supporting Your Point: The PIE Method 90

Point 91

Illustration 92

Explanation 93

So what? 93

Conclusion: Ending with a bang 94

Writing in Your Own Voice 95

Keeping it simple 96

Writing and reading out loud 97

Show, Don’t Tell 98

Painting a picture in the audience’s mind 98

Crafting Your Narrative: Story Time 99

You’re the boss: Acting like a protagonist 100

Telling the story of your business 101

Getting real: Enhancing your story 102

Chapter 7: Using Visual Aids 107

A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words 109

Knowing when a picture works and when it doesn’t 110

Cropping pictures to fit ideas 111

Considering color 111

Mastering Essential Slide Show Skills 113

The Do’s and Don’ts of Audio 116

Don’t let music play for a long time 117

Don’t play music too loud or soft 117

Don’t play music during your whole presentation 117

Do have a sound check in the space prior to your speech 118

Do check your equipment 118

Using Video If You Must 119

Using Other Visual Aids 120

Properly using props 120

Going old school with flip charts 121

Chapter 8: Being Funny (or Trying To) 123

Getting Personal: Revealing Who You Really Are 124

Writing Stories and Jokes 125

Questions to help you prep 126

Figuring out your own sense of humor 127

Breaking It Down: Elements of Humor 128

The rule of three 129

The importance of practice 129

The power of the pause 130

The charm of self-deprecating humor and laughing at yourself 131

The value of acting it out 132

The art of modesty 132

The dreaded cringe and how to avoid it 134

Loosening up the audience 135

Enjoy yourself and don’t take it too seriously 135

Chapter 9: Practicing Your Speech 139

Practicing Out Loud 140

Hear yourself 141

Stand up 141

Prepare those props 142

Power up those slides 142

Find an empty room 143

Time yourself 143

Get someone to watch you 144

Recording and Critiquing Yourself 145

Take video of yourself presenting 145

Record your voice 146

Work on your face and nonverbals 147

Mark My Words: Adjusting Your Script for Emphasis 148

Slowing Down: Speed Kills 150

Cutting your speech when your time is cut 150

Resisting the urge to rush 151

Making the most of tactical pauses 152

Avoiding filler words: Ums and ahs 153

Speaking, not reading 154

Breathing just enough 156

Chapter 10: Becoming a Vocal Athlete 159

Understanding the Importance of Nutrition 160

Cutting down on refined sugar 160

Cutting back on carbs 161

Refraining from alcohol before speaking 162

Hydrating with water 162

Chilling out with the coffee 163

Dialing down the dairy 163

Properly using protein 164

Making Sure You’re Fed 164

Getting Some Exercise 166

Making your heart go thump 166

Increasing your lung capacity 168

Part 4: Fine-Tuning Your Delivery 171

Chapter 11: Prepping Your Mind for Public Speaking 173

Learning to Visualize Positively 174

Visualizing opportunity 174

Building Self-Confidence 176

Becoming happier through gratitude 176

Engaging in positive self-talk 178

Cutting Yourself Some Slack 180

Shifting Your Focus to the Audience 182

Beginning with the end in mind 183

What is the audience expecting to learn? 183

What are your audience’s demographics? 184

What level of knowledge on the topic does the audience have? 185

How big is the audience? 185

Why is the topic important to the audience? 186

Going one-on-one: Addressing one person in the audience 186

Knowing when not to apologize 187

Handling hecklers 189

Chapter 12: Mastering the ABCs of Articulation 191

Meet the Articulators 192

The jaw 192

The tongue 194

The soft and hard palates 195

The lips 196

Understanding Mumbling and Why People Do It 197

Honing Your Articulation 199

Twisting your tongue 199

Voicing vowels and consonants 199

Singing 204

Improving Clarity for an Accent 204

Slowing down 205

Staying positive 205

Chapter 13: Good Vibrations: Resonance 207

Getting to Know Your Resonators 207

Why We Study Resonance 208

Putting Your Whole Body into It 209

Knowing your resonant voice 209

The throat 211

Opening up the nasal cavities 214

Exploring oral resonance 215

Releasing your jaw 216

Opening up your chest resonance 217

Part 5: Enhancing Your Speech 221

Chapter 14: Breath, Tone, and Pitch 223

Breathe, Breathe, Breathe 224

Supporting your breath 224

Adding volume for a bigger space 227

Changing poor breathing habits 228

Does breathing make you look fat? 230

Just breathe 230

Improving Your Tone 231

Expressing meaning and emotion through tone 232

Using a conversational tone 233

Harnessing the Power of Pitch 235

Chapter 15: Getting Body Language into the Act 237

Becoming a Poser (in a Good Way) 238

Adjusting your stance 238

Facial expressions 239

Making eye contact 241

Tuning In to Audience Perception 242

Looking and feeling genuine 243

Owning the room .244

Moving with a Purpose 245

When should you move? 246

Sitting during a presentation 248

Hand Jive: Gesturing with Your Hands 249

Dressing for the Occasion 252

Wearing appropriate clothing for your event 252

Suiting yourself: Clothing for men 254

Style and comfort: Clothing for women 255

Patterning the patterns 255

Wearing makeup 255

Sporting tattoos 256

If the shoe fits 256

Avoiding wardrobe malfunctions 257

Tying back your hair 257

Taking it easy with the jewelry 258

Doing your nails 258

Chapter 16: Ready, Set, Go! 259

’Twas the Night Before 260

Getting Familiar with the Space 262

Scoping out the joint 263

Warming up in the space 264

Eating for Success 265

Sleeping to Refresh 266

It’s Show Time! 266

Minding your mind 267

Visualizing using imagery 267

Breathing 268

Making the most of the microphone 269

Connecting to your audience even before you’ve met them 270

Part 6: It’s Show Time: Plying Your Trade 273

Chapter 17: Acing the Interview 275

Becoming an Expert on You 276

Becoming an Expert on the Industry and Organization 278

Checking Out the Interviewers 280

Using Body Language in the Interview 280

Avoiding the don’ts of interviews 281

Practicing the do’s of interviews 282

Public Speaking: The Interview Edition 282

Getting the questions in advance 283

Revealing what you intend to do 283

Faking it till you’re making it 284

Using your words positively 285

Looking like you already work there 286

Convincing yourself you already have the job 286

Competing factors 287

Mastering the Q&A session 288

Remembering that you are the expert 288

Admitting you don’t know the answer 288

Being vulnerable 289

Chatting like a Champ: Phone Interviews 290

Phone interview don’ts 290

Phone interview do’s 290

Warming up for your interview 291

Greeting the greeter 292

Winding things up 293

Chapter 18: Engaging in Witty Repartee 295

Minding Your Manners 297

Shaking hands 299

Staying Engaged in the Conversation 300

Remembering names 301

Adopting open body language 303

Letting go of your fears 304

Composing Your Elevator Pitch 304

Chapter 19: If at First You Don’t Succeed 307

Everyone Wants You to Succeed 307

The show must go on 309

Practicing what could go wrong 310

Making lemonade out of lemons 311

Rolling with the Punches 311

Double booking 312

Shooting yourself in the foot 312

Never having to say you’re sorry (when you’re up there speaking) 313

Chilling out: No one knows you messed up 313

Owning obstacles 314

Getting Better at Improvising 315

Improving your improv muscles 315

Practicing improvising about your subject 316

Adjusting your timing 317

Part 7: The Part of Tens 319

Chapter 20: Ten (or So) Tips for Stage Fright 321

Accept Your Fear 321

Practice, Practice, Practice 322

Breathe Slowly and Deeply 323

Use Progressive Relaxation 325

Be Up and Out, Not Down and In 326

Move Your Hands 326

Get Positive — Yes Let’s 327

Roll with Mistakes 328

Repeat an Affirmation in Your Head 328

Focus on an Engaged Audience Member 328

Slow Down 329

Chapter 21: Ten Ways to Improve Your Delivery 331

Analyze Your Script 331

Personalize Your Speech 333

Emphasize Key Words 333

Change Up Your Pitch, Tone, and Word Duration 334

Breathe! 335

Slow Down Your Pace 335

Land Your Thoughts 336

Use the Power of the Pause 337

Record Your Presentation 337

Video yourself 337

Record your voice 338

Ask a Friend or Colleague to Watch and Listen 338

Chapter 22: Ten Tips for Preparing to Speak 341

Warm Up Your Body and Your Voice 341

Get physical 342

Get aligned 342

Breathe 343

Adopt a Power Pose for at Least Two Minutes 343

Practice Your Speech While Doing an Unrelated Task 344

Eat Healthy, Drink Water 344

Visualize a Successful Presentation 345

Recite Your Speech Dressed in Your Presentation Clothes 346

Arrange Your Notes and Visuals 347

Bring Water 347

Arrive Early 347

Introduce Yourself 348

Index 349

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