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How to Become a Skilled Orator: Common Mistakes
by Lucy Adams (BuzzEssay)
Before you begin learning the secrets of oratorical skill, you must learn how to avoid common mistakes. Experts in the field of communication technologies analyzed and compared the behavior of amateurs and professional speakers. Apply these tips to practice, and you will notice how your confidence and self-control grow during public speaking.
When your words disagree with the tone of voice, posture and body language, the audience instantly notices this. Saying "Hello, I'm glad to see you all...." in a trembling faltering voice, nervously fingering the buttons of a suit, makes listeners challenge what was said. So instead of "I'm glad..." be glad! Do everything you can to experience the joy of speaking, consciously sharing your positive mood with the audience.
People perceive information easier when they are in a good mood. If you are not experiencing joy, better say fairly: "Today is a great day, so I'm worried..." Speaking true, you will give the impression of an honest man at least.
#2 Excuses and Apologies
By and large, the public doesn't care whether you are worried or not, how long you have you been preparing the report, and how much experience you have in public speaking. So please donít tell people that youíre a poor public speaker! Donít seek to arouse sympathy and obtain a pardon for a bad performance. This seemingly honest promise leads to the opposite result. "Why are we here if the speaker tells us that the performance will be bad?" Quite a reasonable question, yeah?
The public is self-focused. Therefore, from the very first minute, put yourself in the peopleís shoes. Regardless of the kind of the public speaking, your goal is to either inform and motivate or entertain the audience. So it's not about how you speak and what you feel, but what information the audience gets. You need to talk in a way so that the majority of listeners feel that you understand their aspirations and desires. If you act so, then people wonít pay attention to your excitement. Besides, the more attention you give to others, the faster the excitement will disappear.
Novice speakers often apologize, trying to absolve themselves of responsibility for the poor-quality report. "Please excuse myÖ (hoarse voice/appearance/poor quality of slides/too short or too long speech/etc.)." Well, the audience is not the priest; it wonít remit your sinsJ. Instead of constantly apologizing, turn disadvantages to advantages: "Today, I have a hoarse voice, so I ask you to sit close to me to demonstrate that we are a single team, working in a close cooperation."
#3 Eyes and Eyebrows
Do you believe that you control your facial expressions well? Facial muscles are difficult to manage without training. There are a couple of millimeters between a mysteriously seductive look and wide eyes filled with fear!
Psychological studies have shown that the audience pays 10-15 times more attention to the eyes of the speaker than to any other part of the face. Eyebrows are the main element of your facial expressions; they not only indicate emotions but control them. Raised eyebrows sign insecurity and incompetence.
Pay attention to your eyes and eyebrows. Synchronize them with what youíre saying, and the audience will love you. Laughing eyes and straight eyebrows are just what you need! Practice in front of a mirror, record your performance on video and analyze it.
#4 Word Choice
We hear, understand, and react to individual words faster and less consciously that to the meaning of the whole sentence. Also, the negative particles are perceived later than the rest of the words (or even not perceived at all). Therefore, the continuous use of constructions like "will not bring losses," "not bad," "not afraid to make efforts" makes an effect opposite to the expectations of the speaker.
Note that words always turn to pictures into the listenersí imagination! Therefore, use only those words that reinforce the desired goal. If you want to create a positive attitude, then instead of "it's not bad," say "it is good."
#5 The Lack of Humor
Not just informative, but also interesting speech will help you to retain the attention of the audience. Feel free to smile, joke, and tell funny stories within reasonable limits (of course, no one requires you to tell jokes at the memorial service). People need to relax periodically. They will respond to you with favor and attention.
For example, you can laugh at yourself if you have made some mistakes, and the audience will take it as a sign of your self-confidence.
Laughter is a life-giving environment for the brain. Skilled teachers know that humor and good mood increase the desire to learn and make the process more efficient. Laughter helps to relax and leads to the formation of the chemical environment in which the brain better perceives information.
Itís even worse than the lack of experience. I hope youíre not one of the generalists bursting from the awareness of self-importance and considering themselves smarter than the audience to which they appeal.
Never mind the delusion that you know more than all the others put together! Even if you are proficient on the topic, in some areas listeners may know much more than you. Do not assume the audience is dumber than you; otherwise, it will pay you back in kind.
Try to accurately assess the knowledge of the listeners so that to be with them on the same wavelength. By this, youíll kill two birds with one stone, demonstrating the respect for participants and making your speech more exciting. Finally, be grateful to the audience for active participation, because it is a sign of interest in you as a speaker.
Lenny Laskowski is an international professional speaker and the author of the book, 10 Days to More Confident Public Speaking and several other publications. Lenny's products can be purchased "on-line" from this website at: http://www.ljlseminars.com/catalog.htm . Lenny is also available for hire to speak to your organization, college or association. Lenny also provides in-house seminars and workshops. Why not contact Lenny today for your next function or event. You can reach Lenny at 1-860-559-0202 or E-mail him at: Sales@LJLSeminars.com.
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