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Don’t sweat it – 5 tips for public speakers

  1. Gain credibility in the first minute. Make eye contact, speak slowly, and articulate how you’ll address the needs and concerns of the audience.
  2. Stay in real time. Focus on what you’re trying to say instead of thinking ahead to what you want to say next.
  3. Repeat important points. Effective communication is about what listeners remember.
  4. Use positive language. If you say, “This is not a problem situation; I wouldn’t worry that this will turn into a disaster,” what the listener hears is “problem,” “worry,” and “disaster.” If you mean “Everything will be just fine,” then say it.
  5. Factual information should be written down. Use verbal communication to motivate and persuade. Statistics and other factual information are more easily digested in printed material.

SOURCES: Kay Peters, KTT Communications, New York; Thom Brockett, Long & Foster Real Estate, Gaitherburg, Md.; Don Patrick, CreatePlus Inc., Seattle.