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How do you perform in front of audiences when on stage?
Interact with your audience?
Fully prepared?
Are you persuasive?
What's your demeanor? Eye contact?
Read from manuscript or follow notes or memory?

Personally I am horrible, but I've given it very much effort yet I am still horrible. I can never pay attention to my audience because I'm trying to spit out my points correctly, and I think they stop listening :sad:.
Well in the way of materials and thought put into my presentation I am, but mentally I am dreadful.
LOL.In terms of being persuasive towards my audience I am certainly the worst I've seen. The words don't come out that well already, now to have to make them sound in a way that moves people, maybe if I get angry about my topic, but I haven't experienced that yet.
My behavior up on stage is incredibly high strung. I grip the podium, and my legs want to shake(generally I stop them by a tense stance). Eye contact is something I force myself to do once in a great while, but its not natural for some reason.
Manuscript is cheating, and not really presenting, its reading in front of an audience! Notes on a subject you know well work well, but you are uncertain how it will come out till your up there. Me being too nervous in the first place, uncertainty is a killer:angry:
 

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I used to do Model UN back in HS. Used to get nervous. After going to so many conferences and preparing well in advance, I stopped getting the jitters.


Practice makes perfect. Get your speech down and learn it to the letter, but be open to improvising and cracking jokes. Good luck. I'm rooting for ya.
 

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Are you doing a speech for a class?

If your allowed to make some notes to remind yourself i would do it, but it would help if you still knew your speech. Ironically the last class that i took where i had to do speeches it was me and two other people who got extra points cause the class voted after all the speeches on who did the best.

The nervous part i can understand. It helps to acknowledge your nervous, but try not to let it totally control you.
 
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I was forced to take a public speaking class as part of my degree requirement. I hate public speaking with the intensity of a million suns; however, after taking that class, it no longer scares me. Most people are NOT natural public speakers ... my professor said that only about 28% of people are naturals at it; everyone else LEARNS how to do it.
I secretly think my professor in that class was an ISTJ. :tongue: :crazy:
He had a set formula and specific rules for the class. Some of them were extremely strict, and they were all enforced.
- No gum (docked points if you didn't spit it out before your speech)
- No hats (take it off before your speech or you'd get docked)
- No tardies beyond 5 minutes (you'd get docked, and if you were ½ hour late or more, you'd get a 0 for the night)
- If absent, you HAD to provide documentation (tow truck receipt for car trouble, etc.)
- If you missed class more than three times, it was an automatic fail and you had to retake the class.
- If you missed class on speech night, even if you made up your speech, you automatically got docked two letter grades on your speech.
- If you didn't make up your speech, it was an automatic fail in the class and you had to retake the class.
- Speech folders: outline on the right hand side, source material on the left hand side. They had to be turned in immediately prior to giving speech.
- NO cell phones. If caught texting/talking, first warning was a general class warning. Second warning the prof. would specifically call you out. Third warning you were released from class and got a 0 for the night.
- Index cards were not required, but you weren't docked for using them, either. I always used them. In fact, I color-coded them with highlighters and magic markers to keep myself on track (because we had to cite sources during our speeches). I also numbered them just in case.
- We were allowed to use the podium, but I decided that BEFORE my first speech that I would not. I saw it as an impediment to doing well in the class and so I always moved it out of the way and just went for broke, basically.
- We had someone timing us (every minute they would hold up cards to let us know how long we'd been up there). Again, I thought it would be an impediment, so I requested they NOT be used when I gave my speeches (we had the right to decline).
Anyway, for someone who was terrified of public speaking ... I ended up walking out of that class with an "A". I still don't like it, but I had a great professor who basically instilled that preparation is key, and that if we're prepared, we can give a very effective speech. My best speech personally was my demonstration speech*, but I did equally well on my informative and persuasive speeches.
*It was that speech that I decided I wasn't going to let a class of 28 intimidate me. I showed the class how to pack a small carry-on suitcase that would meet TSA guidelines and keep you for a week, without having to check luggage (I never check luggage - if I can't carry it on, I don't take it). Anyway, my "attention getter" was to wait until everyone was waiting for me to start; I slammed the luggage down on the table as hard as I could and said, "Now that I have your attention! How many of you are ready for a vacation from school? Because I know that *I* am!!!"
Needless to say, although it went completely against type for me, I was able to carry it off. The only thing I got docked for? I went over time by 12 seconds and got dinged 2 points.
Oh, I also meant to say, that L-R-C was important in his class (eye contact, left-right-center) as well as gesturing with the hands (which is another reason to NOT use the podium btw).
HTH
 

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How do you perform in front of audiences when on stage?
Interact with your audience?
Fully prepared?
Are you persuasive?
What's your demeanor? Eye contact?
Read from manuscript or follow notes or memory?
I've done public performances for debating and singing, mostly. I don't think I'll ever be truly comfortable on stage.

I got dragged into debating when my friend needed a team - when she approached me I gave her a noncommittal "I'll think about it", which she took as assent. To her surprise and my horror, we found that I was good at it. We were able to prepare our arguments in advance, which was instrumental (I later tried impromptu debating and failed miserably, probably because I had no confidence in my opinions without the facts to back them up). I used a lot of eye contact, and limited gesticulation. I did have notes for prompts, but I didn't read from them.

In singing, I prefer duets. It gives me somebody to relate to, instead of creating an atmosphere by myself. I am usually fully prepared, because messing up is just too mortifying. I try to be persuasive, but I'm usually a bit tense. I don't make eye contact because it makes me smile, but I do engage with the audience. Choirs gave me the starting point I needed to be on stage.
 

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As others have pointed out, practice makes you better. I was terrified of public speaking and playing a solo or a duet. But doing it repeatedly has brought me to a point that it doesn't bother me at all. It's just something I do. If it is a topic with which I am familiar, I might brush up a bit, but I seldom even use notes. On topics with which I am less familiar, I do use notes. I typically speak before 50-60 people--I don't remember speaking to a crowd of larger than 200-250.

I would suggest joining a debate team or something similar. I would also suggest taking a speech class and possibly joining Toastmasters to get some good peer review.

HTH
 

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How do you perform in front of audiences when on stage?
Interact with your audience?
Fully prepared?
Are you persuasive?
What's your demeanor? Eye contact?
Read from manuscript or follow notes or memory?
I think I'm pretty good at public speaking. At the risk of sounding like a pretentious git, I actually like hearing myself speak. :wink: I can make a tired audience sit up and pay attention to me. I'm told I'm very persuasive.

Personally, I think how you use your voice is half the trick. It helps if you have a naturally nice timbre, but more important is being aware of your own 1) pronunciation, 2) volume, and 3) speed, adjusting them as you see fit.

I'm always fully prepared, speaking from memory. This allows me assume and maintain the air of confidence. People will immediately take a liking to you as a speaker if you have that.

I get extremely nervous before speaking. Oddly enough once I start speaking my pulse slows down, my head clears again and I actually begin to hear what I'm saying. The ISTJ poker face helps a lot at this initial stage, IMO. After that it's the heady rush of exhilaration as I see the audience hanging onto my every word.


EDIT: Another thing. Paying attention to the audience is very important. Keep them engaged (eye contact!), don't give them the time to get bored with you. Try to convey through your unspoken attitude that yours is a topic of utmost importance. Let them see that you're earnest about it.
 

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but more important is being aware of your own 1) pronunciation, 2) volume, and 3) speed, adjusting them as you see fit.
Agreed. Mumblers can go home. While I would never be impolite outwardly toward someone on the spot, secretly inside I'd be sawing logs.
 

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As others have pointed out, practice makes you better. I was terrified of public speaking and playing a solo or a duet. But doing it repeatedly has brought me to a point that it doesn't bother me at all. It's just something I do. If it is a topic with which I am familiar, I might brush up a bit, but I seldom even use notes. On topics with which I am less familiar, I do use notes. I typically speak before 50-60 people--I don't remember speaking to a crowd of larger than 200-250.

I would suggest joining a debate team or something similar. I would also suggest taking a speech class and possibly joining Toastmasters to get some good peer review.

HTH
I agree. Toastmasters will do wonders for anyone, especially the shy.

Here's a trick that works for me:

Avoid direct eye contact with your audience. Instead, look just above the eyes at the forehead or hair. They will still be just as engaged and you can avoid turning into a quivering mass of jello.
 

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For me, a planned speech is not so bad. I follow the advice of my extroverted friends, many of whom are in school leadership positions, and follow their advice. Like many on here have already said, practice makes perfect and if I can practice in advance I don't feel very nervous at all. Now, sudden unplanned speeches are a different story :crying:.
 
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I don't get as nervous as I used to in front of audiences but during the moments leading up to a presentation I do get quite antsy. I prefer to view it as having alot of energy/ being excited rather than as being frightened or nervous. One of the things I've noticed in the past is that I have a habit of stumbling through my words and not projecting my voice enough so I make an effort to speak slowly and loudly when I make a presentation, loud enough for my voice to reach the back of the classroom. In terms of interacting with the audience its something that I've always wanted to include in my presentations but I've never pulled it off in a way I consider satisfactory. Its frustrating because I try to make an effort to make my presentations have an informal tone like a conversation between me and the audience members. The challenging thing is that whenever i ask the audience a question nobody bothers to respond. I've tried to make my presentations more interesting and entertaining for people but some audiences don't react :frustrating: Now that I think about it though audience interactivity has worked well for me on one or two of my presentations.
In terms of preparation I make sure I've thoroughly reviewed my material and I have some main points available to remind of what I need to talk about. I have a habit of getting lost in my words in a sense because I'll go into detail on one point and then forget what it was I was supposed to discuss next, so I need reminders

I think my preparation helps with my persuasiveness because the points I make are ones I spent some time thinking about and gathered information on so if anyone has any questions I can address them. Being prepared makes you confident and confidence will help you win people over.

My demeanor is laid back but at the same time, attentive. I stay as relaxed as possible but keep conscious of the things I need to accomplish and the things I need to keep in mind while presenting such as the voice projection. Eye contact isn't much of a problem for me I just try to ensure that I don't stare at one person for too long of a time and frighten them. One thing that helps me relax is knowing that in a few months or weeks from the presentation I would have forgotten the entire experience so its not that big of a deal.

On some presentations I keep a manuscript but my preferred way of going about things is to keep small flashcards on me with my points outlined and proceed to discuss those points instead of reading from a paper. Most of the time I will be using power point presentations as well which help because I can use pictures to add humor and other things to make the presentation more interesting. E.g. After one of my presentations I did a trivia section that quizzed people on what I presented and I used a looping music piece from The Price as Right as background music. If you want advice on public speaking I'd agree that practice makes perfect and it helps you get comfortable with the process, joining toastmasters would be great and watch how others handle presentations e.g. lecturers at ted.com sometimes amaze me in regards to how captivating their presentations are and the humorous presentations are quite enjoyable.

Finally I'd add that I do consider myself to be a decent public speaker but to get to this simple level wasn't easy, I used to be shy and nervous in presentations and have bad habits like negative body language. I had to make an effort to do the research about how I could improve, I had to take a public speaking workshop and basically do things that helped me to become familiar with the details of the process so that it was less of a big intimidating idea of trying to talk to a load of people and instead break it down into the small objectives/tasks of: using proper body language, add some humor, project your voice etc.
 

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Avoid direct eye contact with your audience. Instead, look just above the eyes at the forehead or hair. They will still be just as engaged and you can avoid turning into a quivering mass of jello.
I disagree, for a couple of reasons.

1. Astute observers can/will tell the difference.
2. Engaging your audience via direct eye contact keeps you in the moment, and more connected to your topic, thus WANTING to engage your audience more, which will result in your audience being more interested in what you have to say.
 

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I disagree, for a couple of reasons.

1. Astute observers can/will tell the difference.
2. Engaging your audience via direct eye contact keeps you in the moment, and more connected to your topic, thus WANTING to engage your audience more, which will result in your audience being more interested in what you have to say.
Not to inflame political passions, but direct eye contact with faces in the crowd is one of Obama's (and many other former presidents') trademarks. I'd personally take a cue from it.
 

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I'm like Sela. I took a speech class this year during the summer, and it helped improve my social improvisation (like jokes and comebacks) significantly. I really noticed an confidence boost after I got a 100% on a demo speech on tie tying lol, so yeah, it's due able, but it takes time. The more you talk/preform/whatever you do in front of people that you don't know the better you'll be at it.
 
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