Ideas from books, articles & podcasts.
The key to doing anything well is doing it often and speech is no exception. When you’re nervous about a difficult conversation, such as making the case to your boss for a raise, or a scheduled talk in front of an audience, practice what you’ll say beforehand. Public-speaking expert Dale Carnegie...
People ask questions when they’re missing information or want approval for an idea or decision. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with either of those situations, both can make you sound vulnerable. To project your ideas with confidence, don’t let your voice creep upward at the end of a sent...
Carmine Gallo, author of Talk Like TED, claims 190 words per minute is the ideal rate of speech for public speaking. At this speed, your audience will feel less like you’re talking at them and more like you’re having a conversation over lunch. If you speak too slowly you r...
The body language that accompanies your message is just as important as the words coming out of your mouth. Audiences perceive speakers to have more positive traits such as warmth and energy when they use a variety of gestures, according to Carol Kinsey Gorman, Ph.D., an executive coach and consu...
Do you ever begin your sentences with, “This is just my opinion,” “Sorry,” “I’m still working on this,” “Well,” “I mean,” or any number of other negative or useless prefaces. Most people do as a matter of habit or nervousness, but caveats and fillers can damage the confident tone you’re trying to...
Professional singers have favorite pre-show beverages to soothe and prepare their vocal cords. And while you may not need to hit any octaves during your next conference call, hydration is equally important for speakers. Studies show the positive effects of hydration on vocal chords; basically, i...
Have you heard the adage that smiles are contagious? Christine Clapp, a public-speaking expert at George Washington University, explains the benefits of smiling on both the speaker and audience
What’s your biggest public speaking fear? For many people, it’s silence. They worry about forgetting an important idea or losing their train of thought midway through a sentence. Speakers who try to engage their audiences with questions worry that no one will respond. But silence isn’t your enemy...
Holding your head high and rolling your shoulders back won’t just make you look confident; it will improve the sound of your voice as well. Good posture enables you to breathe deeply in and out through your abdomen, which is how actors and other public speakers project their voices to resonate cl...
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