a. Carriage/Poise - Holding the body in a way
that communicates the intended message.
b. Body language - Facial expression, eye contact communicating the
c. Gestures - Movement communicates the intended message.
a. Volume - Adjusting volume to meet the
b. Pitch - Using pitch or tone to convey meaning.
c. Enunciation/Clarity - Speaks so that the audience understands all
d. Pace/Rhythm - Variety in the rate of delivery. For example, speaking
more quickly to convey enthusiasm, more slowly to emphasize key points or
e. Inflection - Variety of emphasis.
f. Passion/Commitment - Voice reflects a sense of involvement.
a. Self talk - Use affirmations to achieve
b. Visualization - Use visualization to create focused performance.
Use All Communication
The Virtual Presentation Assistant is an online tutorial
for improving your public speaking skills.
When we communicate with our audiences, we use many
channels of communication. This includes non-verbal, pictorial and aural
It is very important that you use as many channels as
you can to communicate with your audience. The more channels of
communication you can use at the same time, the better. Here is brief list
of examples for each of these types:
2. facial expressions
3. body movement
1. tone of voice
2. variations in pitch and volume
3. other vocal variety
Remember it's not what you say it's how you say it and your body does
speak very loudly. Only when you marry your verbal message and your
nonverbal message do you begin to command presence as a speaker
• Non-verbal communication reinforces verbal communication
• Making eye contact will make you appear more credible
• Erect posture leads to easier breathing and better voice projection
• Use movement appropriately when emphasizing points or moving closer to
• Use gestures appropriately when expressing emotions - too much gesturing
can make you appear nervous
Preparing Your Mind for Performance
Another important aspect of performance is what you
do to prepare your mind, your mental attitude. We tend to live out what we
say to ourselves. "I'm nervous, I'm nervous," will only increase you
tension level. Instead, try "I'm calm and relaxed" or "I'm confident and
Here are examples of people who have developed specific attitude adjusters
that help them prepare before performing in front of an audience.
• Broadway choreographer Bob Fosse every day as he looked in the mirror
and said, "It's show time!"
• Jack Lemmon, well known actor and comedian, had his own personal saying
"Jack, it's magic time and you've got the wand!"
• Dorothy Sarnoff uses what she calls the Sarnoff Mantra
I'm glad I'm here
I'm glad you're here
I care about you
I know that I know
Use your imagination to develop a personal statement to prepare you
mentally for performance.
Overcoming Speaking Anxiety
By Lenny Laskowski,
Mark Twain said it best, "There are two types of speakers: those that are
nervous and those that are liars".
To control nervousness know your topic; practice your speech until
you're comfortable; practice in front of others
To reduce your fear, you need to make sure you properly and thoroughly
prepare yourself before you speak. Proper preparation and rehearsal can
help to reduce this fear by about 75%. Proper breathing techniques can
further reduce this fear by another 15%. Your mental state accounts for
the remaining 10%.
Below are just a few suggestions you should use to overcome your speaking
anxiety. The first and most important of all is preparation. Nothing will
relax you more than to know you are properly prepared. Below are 10 steps
you can take to reduce your speech anxiety.
1. Know the room - become familiar with the place in which you will speak.
Arrive early and walk around the room including the speaking area. Stand
at the lectern, speak into the microphone. Walk around where the audience
will be seated. Walk from where you will be seated to the place where you
will be speaking.
2. Know the Audience - If possible, greet some of the audience as they
arrive and chat with them. It is easier to speak to a group of friends
than to a group of strangers.
3. Know Your Material
- If you are not familiar with your material or are
uncomfortable with it, your nervousness will increase. Practice your
speech or presentation and revise it until you can present it with ease.
4. Learn How to Relax - You can ease tension by doing exercises. Sit
comfortable with your back straight. Breathe in slowly, hold your breath
for 4 to 5 seconds, then slowly exhale. To relax your facial muscles, open
your mouth and eyes wide, then close them tightly.
5. Visualize Yourself Speaking - Imagine yourself walking confidently to
the lectern as the audience applauds. Imagine yourself speaking, your
voice loud, clear and assured. When you visualize yourself as successful,
you will be successful.
6. Realize People Want You To Succeed -
All audiences want speakers to be
interesting, stimulating, informative and entertaining. They want you to
succeed - not fail.
7. Don't apologize For Being Nervous -
Most of the time your nervousness
does not show at all. If you don't say anything about it, nobody will
notice. If you mention your nervousness or apologize for any problems you
think you have with your speech, you'll only be calling attention to it.
Had you remained silent, your listeners may not have noticed at all.
8. Concentrate on Your Message - not the medium - Your nervous feelings
will dissipate if you focus your attention away from your anxieties and
concentrate on your message and your audience, not yourself.
9. Turn Nervousness into Positive Energy - the same nervous energy that
causes stage fright can be an asset to you. Harness it, and transform it
into vitality and enthusiasm.
10. Gain Experience - Experience builds confidence, which is the key to
effective speaking. Most beginning speakers find their anxieties decrease
after each speech they give.