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| Education and Financial

08/29/14

Speak easy: How public speaking can improve your career plans

Your career has a message for you that is relatively simple: speak up.
Maybe your job and subsequent career path doesn't require you to have remarkable, lavish communication skills, but for the most part being able to speak publicly or get your point across to colleagues and supervisors is crucial to ensure your career doesn't stagnate or just plain flat line since you have trouble talking in front of a crowd.
Imagine you've been bestowed the opportunity to put together a presentation that could be a defining moment in your career. But even if you know the material inside and out, you still know wholeheartedly that you aren't an expert public speaker. In fact, you're not very good at all, and with that you accept the challenge knowing you'll have to fine tune your public speaking.
Naturally, one element of being legendary at public speaking is not only understanding the point of your speech but also something that often is overlooked: practice. As much of a joke as it may seem to stand in front of a mirror and pay particular attention to your tone, facial expression and everything verbally and non verbal, that mentality and decision could easily turn an average speaker into someone superb for that moment.
The idea of practicing a speech only will serve to make you feel more comfortable in the element of public speaking. You also could try practicing the speech for a smaller audience of friends or family to get the feel of how it sounds and garner any important feedback they might have. Also, it will certainly pay dividends to scope out the room you'll speaking in and try your speech a few times there, too. You can walk around while you're practicing and determine how comfortable you feel standing in front of a podium or perhaps can see for certain what the speech sounds like in the actual room.

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Downplaying the importance of something as simple as scouting the room or delivering the speech in that same room beforehand is what separates bad public speakers from the ones that aspire to greatness.
Much the same way Tiger Woods has a golf coach and spends all his free time on the course or Peyton Manning studies day in and day out even after playing the league for more than a decade, renowned public speakers coach themselves up and take their craft incredibly serious.
That's not to suggest your public speaking goal should mirror theirs but the habits they implement are definitely worth copying.

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