One of the most common and most challenging job interview questions is “can you tell me your strengths and weaknesses?” In some cases, they may ask you to list a certain number of each (usually two or three but I’ve heard as many as five) which means that you’ll want to put some added thought into it. But no need to panic, this question is a lot easier to answer than you may think – provided you’re ready for it.
In one of my “Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking” classes, an attendee asked me why so many speakers come across as smug. I hadn’t really thought about this so I opened the discussion up to the rest of the class and was shocked by what I heard – many speakers come across as condescending, arrogant, cocky and yes, smug.
I listened to stories about people that call themselves corporate trainers taking the attitude that they were not only the smartest person in the room, but the only intelligent person in the room. Anyone that asked for clarification simply “didn’t get it.” Others shared tales of speakers confidently contradicting themselves or speakers arguing with audience members that questioned them.
Are there words which you frequently stumble over while speaking? Do people have a tough time understanding what you’re saying? Is English not you’re first language? Well don’t worry because you’re not alone. Many people, including professional speakers, struggle with their articulation. Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to work on improving the way you pronounce words.
There are two techniques that I highly recommend for those of us that desire better articulation. Both of these techniques not only help you speak more clearly, but they also have some added benefits.
The Radio Repeat:
Children can be the most delightful human beings one day and seems like the spawn of the devil the following day, but one thing is for certain, children are unpredictable. This adds a new twist to public speaking when your audiences are typically made up of children (or worse, the dreaded teenager). The good thing is there are a few steps you can take to avoid the majority of problems you can run into.