Use vocal variety. Make your talks more enjoyable by using an assortment of vocal tones and pitches. If you need help developing vocal variety, practice reading to children. Consider joining a story telling group.
Eliminate non-words. Inexperienced speakers unconsciously use so many filler words that Toastmasters have an “ah counter” at every meeting. This person counts the number of filler words members use during the meeting. Filler words include uh, ah, um, er. We can only eradicate filler words when we become aware of them.
Stop poor speaking habits. Rid your vocabulary of stagnant verbiage. Break yourself of using those mundane phrases you like to repeat, such as, “yada, yada, yada” or “know what I mean?” Likewise, watch the overuse of words like “really,” “clearly” and so forth.
Be prepared. You will be more at ease if you know what to expect. Find out if there will be a podium or microphone for your use. How many people do they expect? How will the room be set up? Have your props organized so there will be no annoying fumbling during your presentation.
Know your audience. And gear your speech to the needs and interests of this particular audience. When I speak on local history, I give a completely different talk to students at local elementary schools than I do when addressing civic organizations or historic society members.
Anyone can get up in front of an audience and speak. How well you do it is what counts.
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