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Public Speaking Tips and Sample Speeches

Public Speaking Tips

Speaking in public is a frightening prospect for many people. It is said that the most common fear among human beings is the fear of public speaking, and that it is even more common and intense than the fear of death itself!

Why are some people frightened of speaking in public? First of all, they have never been used to being in the spotlight, since childhood. Secondly, they are afraid that they will make mistakes and embarrass themselves. Thirdly, they have issues of lack of self-confidence. Some people do not have anything to say, or are not fluent in the language. Many people who are required to speak in public just do not prepare well, and as a result, perform badly. Once they perform badly, they lose whatever confidence they had in the first place.

How do you overcome these issues?

  • Research. If you are required to speak in public, prepare well in advance. Your preparation includes finding out what exactly the topic is, how much time is available for your speech, and who your audience will be. Once you know the answers to these questions, begin your research on the topic. Search the internet, read up newspapers and magazines, and seek the advice of elders and teachers. Read a lot, and think about what you have read.
  • Preparation. Once you have enough material for your speech, organize them according to the topic. You should have an introduction, body and conclusion. Have just one idea in one paragraph. Explain and give examples for your main ideas. Ask questions in your speech, to establish rapport with the audience. Your draft should be checked by someone who is an expert at English language, for grammar as well as usage of words.
  • Practice. For a person who is a novice in public speaking, there is no short cut. You have to practice, practice and practice. Read the speech multiple times to be very familiar with it. Once you are familiar with it, you can innovate and substitute words with others if you feel like it. Practice in front of a mirror. Practice using gestures and facial expressions that are relevant. It is a very good idea to practice in front of your friends, parents or teachers. Check to see that your pronunciation is correct.
  • Presentation. First, your physical appearance should be taken care of. Wear clothes that fit the occasion. Dress well, and groom yourself well, so that you are confident that you look good on that day. Coming to the presentation of the speech, many things have to be taken care of. One of them is eye contact. Look at the people in the audience in the eye, and look at all of them, both in front and at the back. It is alright to use notes to help you remember your speech, but it is not advisable to read from a written speech. Vary the tone of your voice to ensure that your speech is not monotonous. You can crack jokes, as you grow more confident.

Now let us look at some sample speeches. Click on your desired title.

Sample Speech - Dare to be different
Sample Speech - Beauty contests: degrading or dignifying?
Sample Speech - The life of Mahatma Gandhi

Image courtesy: cada_net_au

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