Public Speaking Success: Preparing for a Question and Answer Session

Getting up in front of an audience and speaking is a challenge in itself. Having to answer questions in front of an audience makes it even tougher. The good news is that with proper preparation, you can eliminate most of the stress that comes along with answering questions in a group setting. Here are some of my favorite tips for Q&A:

Know your topic:

How to Improve Your Memory

Whether you’re trying to memorize the main points of your speech, your to do list or the capitals of the major countries of the world, a good memory can be a powerful asset. The benefits to having an excellent memory are extraordinary: improving your memory will help you be more efficient, learn things faster and communicate better. Here is a far from complete list of skills that you’ll notice big improvements in with a better memory:

  • Public Speaking (remembering your material, especially key points)
  • Networking (remembering names and conversations)
  • Personal Finance (remembering to pay bills and take advantage of deals)

Dealing with Bullies

Being bullied is one of the worst things that can happen to a human being. If you or someone close to you has ever been bullied, you know how unpleasant an experience it can be. It eats away at our self-esteem, our self image and can lead to depression and even violence in cases where victims are pushed over the edge.

Unfortunately, bullying isn’t only limited to the school yard. It’s has crept into college campuses and even into the corporate world. Adults who are bullied at work for prolonged periods keep to themselves, call in sick more often and find their relationships outside of work deteriorating. The proverbial downward spiral thus begins.

Public Speaking Tips: Five Tips for ESL (English as a Second Language) Speakers

As if speaking in public wasn’t challenging enough, imagine having to translate your thoughts on the fly into another language while speaking in front of a group. Well this is a challenge that many speakers who emigrate from a country where English is not the primary language to an English speaking country face.

I know many people who are trying to overcome this challenge. So I’ve put together a list of tips to help (I’ll get into more detail on some of these tips and list more in future posts):

Tip 1: Record yourself.

Public Speaking Benefits: How Public Speaking Skills can Help Your Career

I’m often asked to speak to student organizations about public speaking and how it can help them succeed once they graduate. I tell them that communication skills in general are often as important as the technical skills required for a job, but public speaking in particular has so many benefits.

It Increases Your Confidence:

The biggest advantage of being effective at speaking in public is that it will increase your confidence in your abilities in other forms of communication. In my classes, I teach the concept of small successes that you can build on. Success is like a snowball rolling in the snow. Every time you have a success, it’s like rolling that snowball a few feet in the snow which the makes the snowball (your skills and area of influence) larger. The more you roll it, the bigger the ball.

Public Speaking: How to Write a Powerful Speech Conclusion

Photo by mentatdgt from PexelsThe speech conclusion is another often overlooked part of a speech. In its most ugly form, the speaker, realizing that he or she has no more to say, simply looks at the audience with a blank stare until finally blurting out “well, that’s all I got” or “Thanks for having me.” I guess some folks take the advice of leaving your audience wanting more a little too literally.

Conventional wisdom in the realm of public speaking is that your opening statement and closing statement must be perfect. While I agree that it’s important to develop these two parts of your speech, I don’t think they are as important as others make them out to be — which is the other extreme.

The Speech Introduction

When people who speak hear the phrase “speech introduction,” they often think of the introduction portion of their speech as opposed to the introduction that is given to them prior to their talk. While most speakers spend a significant amount of time on the former, very few put a lot of effort (if any) into the latter.

It’s too bad because a speech introduction is a great opportunity to make a great speech even better. An effective introduction sets the tone for your speech. It provides the audience with a background on you and your expertise and a well written introduction can help create interest in you and your speech.