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Dos and Don’Ts (Public Speaking)

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There are certain dos that you need to always keep in mind when speaking in public. But there are also things that you are advised not to do.

1. Plan your talk – Don’t forget that any lecture is a performance: you must work to get your message across.

2. Don’t forget your presentation.

3. Don’t apologize – No need to apologize when you give a speech or tell the audience that you are nervous. They might not even notice that you are.

4. Don’t talk about how awesome you are and how many qualifications you have. Your audience has already showed up to see you; let your content and form sell itself.

5. Don’t end sentences with “right?” or “OK?”

6. Don’t Fumble – Pay attention to what you are doing with your hands. People rely on more than just words when they are listening to someone. They also look at the person’s gestures. Fumbling with your hands is something that distracts their attention away from what you are saying.

7. Don’t go too far outside your comfort zone. It will show.

8. Don’t make your speech too long. – No one likes to listen to a long speech. Keep your speech sweet and short and never start by saying “I’ll keep this short…”

9. Don’t speak too fast – Linked with being nervous is the problem of speaking too fast. One of the most common public speaking mistakes is to speak at a pace that your listeners find hard to follow.

10. Don’t get too passionate. – If you are making a serious speech about something you believe in, there is a possibility you will get too passionate. Don’t let that happen! Getting really passionate will scare your audience away. Bear in mind, there will be people who don’t agree with you on any issues that you are talking.

11. Don’t forget to use visual aids – Giving presentations or lectures are not just about what you have to say, it is important to present visual supporting materials too.

12. Don’t lie – Be honest and truthful, even if you don’t know an answer. If your audience realizes you just said a little white lie, you will have no respect for the rest of the speech.

13. Don’t Be Afraid. – The people in the audience have come there to listen to you because they think you are brilliant and you have something cool to say. They want to see you succeed. Stand with your head up high, smile and be ready to be brilliant.

14. Don’t forget to thank the people who asked you to speak. They may need you again.

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