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by CelineVPE on 06 Mar 11, 15:25

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Author malw  Date 23 Mar 06, 17:09  Views 2533
Description How to Get Started
Category Newsletter Articles  Type Information

How to Get Started

How to Get Started

At Bicester Achievers we do something called 'Table Topics' where members are invited to speak for 1-2 minutes on a particular subject. Although it takes time and practice to get good at this sort of impromptu speaking, its probably the best way to get started on speaking in public - after all, speaking for 2 minutes is far less daunting that 5 of them!

Here are a few tips to help you get over your first time nerves:

1. When you're called to speak, take your time to walk to the front of the room. This gives you time to think about what you're going to say. Take a deep breath, repeat the question and pause, because this gives you even more thinking time.
2. Start off strong and with confidence. Remember that everyone in the audience has just breathed a sigh of relief because someone else has been called up. They are willing you to succeed.
3. Pick one message or idea and stick to it. This will help you start confidently. If other ideas come to you after you start speaking, just go with the flow and trust your instincts.
4. Talk about something with which you're familiar and you'll sound far more confident.
5. Maintain eye contact with the audience. Look at one person for a couple of seconds before moving to the next person and they will feel like you're really speaking to them.
6. Speak slowly. Nerves make us rush, but even if you're short on ideas and things to say, you can fill a minute more easily if you slow down.
7. Use pauses to make your speech longer and more effective.
8. Throw in an off-the-cuff remark if you want to. Add a few words which just pop into your head so you can keep a conversational style and think of the audience as a group of your friends.
9. Use a good conclusion by saying something like "And finally ….". Once you've made your last point, you can turn to the person who asked you to speak (the Table Topics Master) and they will thank you.
10. Enjoy the applause as you return to your seat!

We all have to start somewhere and with a little practice, this process will feel more natural to you. Remember that at Bicester Achievers we want to help you improve and will always give you as much support and advice as we can.

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