Building Confidence as a Student Speaker


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A workshop I presented at Middlesex Community College for student leaders to help them gain confidence during speaking engagements.

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  • Public Speaking is the #1 Fear in America. Death... #2Picture:
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  • 1st part – Practice TODAY!2nd part – Practice within your leadership roles – Have patience, Find Courage, Show respect, Be Brace, Take Risks – just don’t stand by and watch.
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  • Commencement Speech Story!Picture:
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  • What are the needs and challenges of my audience?Introduction: Get the audiences attention and focus them on the topic. Share personal experiences helping them to relate to the information. Plan on including your audience in your discussion from beginning to end.Presentation: It is here that you share your key points, whether it be results of a newly implemented program, factual knowledge, or questionnaire results. Stay with your subject, as you want to give the audience as much information as possible. Use stories, visual aids and other forms of media to keep attention. Keep in mind that you don’t have to be too professional, use humor, and be creative as possible with your topic.Conclusion: In closing you can summarize your presentation and allow your audience to ask questions.
  • Prepare the structure of the talk carefully and logically, just as you would for a written report. What are: the objectives of the talk? | the main points you want to make? -Make a list of these two things as your starting point  Write out the presentation in rough, just like a first draft of a written report. Review the draft. You will find things that are irrelevant or superfluous - delete them. Check the story is consistent and flows smoothly. If there are things you cannot easily express, possibly because of doubt about your understanding, it is better to leave them unsaid. Never read from a script. It is also unwise to have the talk written out in detail as a prompt sheet - the chances are you will not locate the thing you want to say amongst all the other text. You should know most of what you want to say - if you don't then you should not be giving the talk! So prepare cue cards which have key words and phrases (and possibly sketches) on them. Postcards are ideal for this. Don't forget to number the cards in case you drop them. Remember to mark on your cards the visual aids that go with them so that the right OHP or slide is shown at the right time Rehearse your presentation - to yourself at first and then in front of some colleagues. The initial rehearsal should consider how the words and the sequence of visual aids go together.
  • Speak clearly. Don't rush, or talk deliberately slowly. Deliberately pause at key points Use your hands to emphasize points but don't indulge in to much hand waving. Look at the audience as much as possible, Don't face the display screen behind you and talk to it. Don’t stand in a position where you obscure the screen. Avoid moving about too much. Keep an eye on the audience's body language.
  • The material of your presentation should be concise, to the point and tell an interesting story. In addition to the obvious things like content and visual aids, the following are just as important as the audience will be subconsciously taking them in: Your voice - how you say it is as important as what you say Body language - a subject in its own right and something about which much has been written and said. In essence, your body movements express what your attitudes and thoughts really are. You might like to check out this web pageAppearance - first impressions influence the audience's attitudes to you. Dress appropriately for the occasion. As with most personal skills oral communication cannot be taught. Instructors can only point the way. So as always, practice is essential, both to improve your skills generally and also to make the best of each individual presentation you make.
  • Visual aids significantly improve the interest of a presentation Picture:
  • Speak clearly. Don't rush, or talk deliberately slowly. Deliberately pause at key points Use your hands to emphasize points but don't indulge in to much hand waving.
  • Groups of 2 or 3 (10 Minutes)come up withy our own Elevator Pitch (~60 seconds – 250 words or less) & share it with your group
  • Share your elevator pitch in front of the large group to practice – its OK to make mistakes – remember, they only know what you tell them, so if you mess up, no one will know! Play it cool!Picture:
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  • Building Confidence as a Student Speaker

    1. 1. + Public Speaking: Building Your Confidence As a Student Speaker P. Max Quinn, M.Ed.
    2. 2. + GOALS • Have Fun! • Practice! • Gain Confidence! • Improve Communication Skills!
    3. 3. +Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen... – Winston Churchill
    4. 4. + Small Groups: • Introduce yourself • Name • Class Year/ Area of Study • Leadership Position(s) • A Fun Fact About Yourself • Answer the Questions: • How does public speaking relate to the leadership position(s) you identified? • What do you hope to gain from today? • What does “COURAGE” mean to you? How Does Public Speaking Relate to YOU?!
    5. 5. + Confidence
    6. 6. + Fear
    7. 7. + Courage  Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice as the end of the day saying: „I think I‟ll try again tomorrow‟. – Mary Ann Radmacher  I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. – Nelson Mandela  You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, „I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along‟. – Eleanor Roosevelt
    8. 8. + Ask yourself...
    9. 9. + Perseverance
    10. 10. Effective public speaking: Your task as a speaker: to share information to persuade or enlighten the audience Your responsibility to the audience: + to capture their attention and to hold it Your success is determined by: your preparation your enthusiasm Public Speaking – The Basics
    11. 11. Structure the speech carefully and logically What are: the objectives of the presentation? the main points you want to make? + Never read from a script. Use notes with main points. Rehearse your presentation! Public Speaking – Preparation
    12. 12. + Public Speaking Tips  Know Your Material  Know the Audience    EYE CONTACT Know the Room  SMILE!  Relax!  FACIAL EXPRESSIONS!  DON‟T DISTRACT!  BE YOURSELF  TELL A STORY!  DON‟T STAND STILL!    Visualize Yourself Giving the Speech REMEMBER:   TAKE A DEEP BREATH! WE WANT YOU TO DO WELL! Don‟t Apologize!  EVER!
    13. 13. + Public Speaking MISTAKES  START WITH A BANG!  BE YOURSELF!  WORK THE ROOM!  DON‟T READ... SPEAK!  Dress appropriately – NO B‟s  Arrive early to your presentation room  Be excited and relaxed  Have a back up plan...  BE AUTHENTIC!  PREPARE! PREPARE! PREPARE!  PRACTICE MAKES (ALSMOST)PERFECT
    14. 14. + VISUAL AIDS Keep it simple Slides should contain the minimum information necessary Avoid using diagrams Use color on your slides Room lighting should be considered Prezi vs. PowerPoint?
    15. 15. Greet the audience Introduce yourself State your objectives Be time conscious Public Speaking – The Delivery Stick to the plan for the presentation + Leave time for discussion Ask if there are any questions Look at the audience as much as possible. Don't face the display screen behind you and talk to it. Don‟t stand in a position where you obscure the screen. Avoid moving about too much. Keep an eye on the audience's body language.
    16. 16. + ELEVATOR PITCH “Tell me about yourself?” “What are you involved with on campus?” “Why should I join your organization?”
    17. 17. PRACTICE MAKES (almost) PERFECT +
    18. 18. QUESTIONS ? + Thank You! P. Max Quinn, M.Ed. “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” Special thanks to Dr. Elizabeth Moriarty – Bridgewater State University