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Say It Loud & Proud: How To Master Public Speaking

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by ANN BROWN

At some point in your career, you will have to do some form of public speaking. Whether it be in front of a large convention or doing an in-office presentation for colleagues, public speaking is part of nearly every executive´s life. And mastering the art can only help advance your career.

“As a businessperson, from the owner of a company to an employee, it is important to master the art of public speaking as the success of the business is determined by how efficient you can communicate both internally and externally, about the mission of the company and the product or services,” explains certified speaker/trainer/coach Byron C. Glenn, of Byron Glenn & Company.

Glenn gives some tips on how to beat stage fright:

Believe in yourself: Be self-assured and prepared. “Have confidence in your material and yourself,” he says. “As simple as it sounds it is true, “confidence is half the battle,´ and you gain confidence by preparation.”

Mingle and mention: Building a relationship with your audience helps. “Connect with the audience before going on stage,” says Glenn. “Connecting with the audience before going on stage will build a connection that will allow you to get the audience involved.  It can be as small as mentioning someone’s name or as big as bringing a part of a conversation into your speech. ”

Keep it simple: Don´t overcomplicate matters.  Deliver a speech that everyone can understand and relate to. “Find the main points you need to communicate for people to comprehend the message and repeat them.  Just because you were allotted X amount of time does not mean you have to speak the whole time.  In speaking, sometimes less is more,” says Glenn.

Do a mock run-through: Before you hit the stage, test out your speech at home. “Record yourself.  Many times we do not know the quirks, filler words e.g. um, so, etc., and sayings that we do that will distract the audience,” suggests Glenn.

Say it again: “Practice pronunciation, diction, and slowing down your speech in everyday conversations,” says Glenn.

Ears wide open: Get inspiration from other speakers. Check out TED speeches on YouTube, for example.

(This column was first written by Brown for the June 5, 2014 Network Journal)

Ann Brown is a longtime New York journalist whose columns appear in The Network Journal, New York Trend and other publications. She currently resides in Cape Verde.

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