12 Tips to Improve Your Stage Presence

by Ian McKenzie on August 22, 2014

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When speaking in front of an audience, these tips will help you communicate more effectively on stage:

  1. Consciously lift your eyebrows. It will immediately brighten your face.
  2. Smile. A lot.
  3. Channel your nervousness into your diaphragm. Relax your neck, and your shoulders, and breathe slowly and deeply using your diaphragm. Put any tension you have there. When you breathe in, your stomach should push out. As you breathe out, your stomach should shrink. (Your shoulders should not move when you breathe)
  4. Hands should be at your sides and still, unless you are using them to express your piece, or are holding a microphone.
  5. Hold the microphone at an angle it so you are speaking directly into the top of it. The microphone should be 2 to 5 inches away from your mouth—no farther.
  6. Raise your voice pitch slightly from your normal speaking voice. It will make you sound more energized and less tired. Project your voice to the back of the room, using your diaphragm, not your vocal chords, to increase the volume. Enunciate your consonants.
  7. Stand with legs shoulder width apart. Stand straight. Don’t lean or slouch.
  8. Own the message you are communicating. Don’t just speak words. If the message isn’t important to you, you’re not going to make it important to your listeners?
  9. Make sure you have water handy. Nervousness often causes a dry mouth—often unexpectedly.
  10. If you are too nervous to look at the audience, look slightly above them.
  11. Memorize as much as possible before you get on stage. It will be easier to focus on expression and communication.
  12. If you make a mistake, ignore it and move on. The audience will forget it as fast as you do (if they noticed it in the first place). Facial expressions or comments only draw attention to the mistake and make it easier to remember.

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Boost Your Success by Improving Your Speaking Skills

by Ian McKenzie on August 12, 2014

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English: President Obama speaking at the Nucle...

Success in public speaking can open a world of opportunity for you. It can broaden your horizons through personal development, influence, and advances in your profession.

Public Speaking Influences Your Personal Development

In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self-worth ranks highest. Giving speeches helps us realize self-worth through the satisfaction experienced when a good speech is given. We become more confident, especially when the audience responds positively. It also reduces anxiety when asked by an authority to speak in front of people.

There was a student who dropped a course five times because he hated speaking in front of the class. After some self-study on building confidence, he decided to give public speaking a try and was successful. He came to enjoy the experience and even volunteered to give more speeches.

Using public speaking tools such as research, conceptualization, and organization, you have a systematic and effective way of presenting your ideas. With this experience, you will be better able to express yourself. You will also become more open to other people.

Public speaking satisfies your sense of achievement when the audience accepts you warmly. This reflects your level of communication skills and acumen. All these contribute to your self-esteem.

Public Speaking Influences Your Society

It is not only you who can benefit from the art of public speaking, but society as well. Governments and local organizations listen to the voice of their members. With proper communication skills, you can represent the public in voicing your rights and opinions.

An example of this would be community discussion. When a neighborhood holds regular meetings, it discusses issues or courses of action. In the discussion, opinions are expressed. Those with strong speaking skills have an advantage in communicating their opinion.

People from all walks of life need to speak in public, whether formally or otherwise: students reciting in school; folks in a town meeting; citizens voicing national issues. There is no easy way to avoid public speaking.

Public Speaking Influences Your Professional Development

Public speaking can help in your career. We tend to think of success as measured by how long you have been in your job or educational qualifications. However, research shows, one of the best indicator of success in any profession is how often a person is asked to give speeches. Those who give more speeches tend to have higher salaries than those who give less or no speeches.

Take this average engineer. She enrolls in a public speaking seminar that teaches two hours a week for six weeks. After two months, she is promoted to senior engineer. Her boss has been noticing her superb presentations.

The longer you work for an organization and the higher you climb the organizational ladder, the more your boss will ask you to preside over meetings and to give talks to the staff and subordinates or the clients. The higher your position, the more your responsibilities in leading people under you; and the more you must speak effectively.

A manager once said, “From the chairman of the board to the assistant manager of the most obscure department, nearly everyone in business speaks in public or makes a speech at some time or the other.”

It ’s not just big organizations and companies, small organizations and businesses also need staff who are good public speakers. If the high school is not persuasive enough to tell the school board that new gym equipment is needed, the athletes might have to make do with the old equipment. If salespeople cannot explain their products with a convincing sales pitch, fewer people will buy the products. This is true for nurses, doctors, firemen, police personnel and other professions.

Whatever you do, your capacity and capabilities can be improved through effective public speaking skills.

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7 Leadership Tips From Leaders

August 5, 2014
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What is a leader? A leader is a person who guides others toward a common goal, showing the way by example, creating an environment in which other team members feel actively involved in the entire process. A leader is not the boss of the team, but the person that is committed to carrying out the mission of [...]

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July 31, 2014
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Use the “standby” or “hibernate” feature on your PC instead of shutting it down when you step away for a short time. You’ll be able to resume your work much faster than from a cold start. Find urgent computer files faster by starting file names with numbers. That ensures that they will be at the top of your list of files. [...]

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It’s 3:00 in the afternoon and your boss calls from the road and says, “Drop everything, I need this report in an hour.” Fifteen minutes later another manager comes by looking for last-minute help with a PowerPointpresentation. Meanwhile, you’ve skipped lunch, a courier is waiting on a delivery from you and the intern is hovering, looking for approval [...]

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Sometimes being an effective employee is easy and sometimes it’s not —work responsibilities and circumstances vary, as do relationships with co-workers. One thing is certain: your attitude makes a big difference in how successful you are at work. A positive attitude is a requirement of all of the following tips for improving your chances of [...]

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If you think your employee’s poor performance is costing you profit, instead of overhauling your employee roster, why not try motivating them to become better employees? Smart managers never overlook this fact: loyal, productive employees are one of your biggest assets. From corporate cubicles to the factory floor, the collective skills and efforts of people keep your operation [...]

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I attended a funeral some time ago for a woman who had lived a good, long life. There were two eulogies given, one by a long-time friend and the other from a family member. It was interesting to hear the similar themes that came out as they spoke of someone who had played an important part [...]

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Enhance Your Langauge Skills for Successful Public Speaking

May 7, 2014
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Another essential skill for successful speakers is using the correct form of the language. Being limited to English, I can’t say what equivalent errors might exist in other languages. However, nothing can destroy your credibility as a speaker than the misuse of the language. Toastmasters International highlights the importance of correct language by appointing a Grammarian to listen to [...]

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7 Deadly Sins of Public Speaking

May 5, 2014
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It takes a lot of preparation to craft the kind of speech or presentation that is going to grab your listener’s attention. Once the speech is crafted, you need to spend a lot of time practising, so as to make sure you keep their attention. Listeners don’t give their attention lightly and it doesn’t take [...]

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