Stand Up and Speak Out!

It is the final week of classes. That means that final exams are next week and class presentations are upon us. This is the time when roles switch. Students supplement class discussions with some quite impressive deliveries—informing the class on different topics, including companies’ performance, information on CEO compensation, and even how to best manage generation “Y” and get their best work. Just admit it—as you walk to the front of a room for a public presentation, every nervous tension comes along with you.

After practicing for days and building up all confidence known to man, it all begins to deflate as you approach your big moment. You want to deliver. After all, there’s a lot of work that goes into the preparation of a great presentation. Rest assured: this is normal.  Here are two simple things that I have learned that will help relieve some of that nervousness:

  • Stand Up:  Although this may seem a bit obvious, posture is shown to increase the clarity of your voice. Here’s the trick: as you walk to the front of the room erect, take the deep breaths as you have always been told. Then, inhale one last time before you begin speaking.  To avoid what I call the “shaky voice” syndrome, after you take that last breath very slowly exhale as you begin speaking. The pressure of the air will help reduce the shaking. Try it. It works.
  •  Speak Out:  Be sure to project your voice. The important thing is that it should be natural but don’t lose control. This is your moment so just let the audience hear what you’ve practice many times. And remember that your presentation should be very similar to the flow of a normal conversation.

Now that you know what to do, practice as much as possible in front of friends and family.  Don’t forget the two steps! As  you walk up to give a presentation, “stand up.” And as you speak, speak out to the audience.




One thought on “Stand Up and Speak Out!”

  1. Omar, I agree with you on everything. It can be extremely useful to perform a dress rehearsal of the speech in front of relatives and / or friends. This will give you the opportunity to receive their opinions and suggestions, helping to make the appropriate changes to your intervention.
    It can be effective also simulate the speech in front of a mirror so he can pay attention to your gestures, your expressions and to make the necessary corrections.
    Already being prepared, in order to best structure your speech, remember that it is extremely useful to be able to concentrate the main message of the speech in the opening minutes, since the attention span of the public drop off significantly after the first 10 minutes and is virtually zero after 45 minutes.
    In preparation is also important to know in detail the tools you will use, if necessary, to support your argument.
    What visual aids are more appropriate for a more effective intervention? It ‘good to keep in mind that, in general, 85% of what we remember is tied to images. The visual aids are therefore very effective because it increases the level of attention, simplify the message you want to convey, bring into prominence the important passages and facilitate the process of storage. Extremely valuable, in particular, overhead projectors, slides and movies.

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