Articles tagged: practice

Having a speech disorder—whether it’s a stutter, a slur, or a lisp—can make a presentation extremely frightening.

I should know. I’ve had a lisp for my entire life.

Though I’ve gone through years of therapy to correct it, I still have difficulties with the letters S and Z. I have always been very self-conscious of it. When speaking in public, I’m afraid of how it will affect my message.

I understand that my lisp isn’t going to magically disappear. I’ve accepted that. I’ve also decided that it won’t hold me back. I didn’t want to miss out on a wonderful opportunity just because I sound a little weird on certain sounds. Because of this decision, I’ve given speeches which include the classic best man speech, award acceptance speeches, and persuasive presentations helping people to change their lives.

In this article, I’ll share five tips for gaining confidence as a speaker when you have a speech disorder.

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Do you remember how you felt the last time you were attending a presentation, and the speaker went over their allowed time?

Were you happy about it? Or were you mad that they now put you behind for your next appointment? Or did you leave before they wrapped up?

In this article, we examine the importance of finishing on time and give 5 tips for staying within your time constraints.

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College students come into my classroom not only with a flurry of fears and insecurities, but also with baggage in the form of bad presentation habits they have developed over the years.

My students’ bad habits didn’t happen overnight.  These habits develop through years and years of watching terrible presentations.  While most of us can recognize a terrible presentation, we don’t yet have the tools to make our own presentations great.

In a class called Professional Communication and Presentation, I teach my students how to break their bad habits. These lessons apply to all presenters: teachers, conference presenters, business executives… anyone who has a speech to deliver. Read on to see how you can un-learn these habits, too!

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The year is fast coming to an end, which means it’s time to set goals for the New Year.

Here are five best practices of public speaking that speakers don’t always follow, but should resolve to this year:

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Does your voice convey confidence and conviction every time you speak?

Or does your voice need strength training?

A Six Minutes reader whose career depends on a strong, confident voice sent in this question:

“One thing I need help in is voice control.  For some reason my voice quivers.  Is there some kind of exercise that may strengthen my vocal cords? Any ideas what may contribute to that?

Also, as a Realtor, I encounter the quivery voice as I’m talking with my clients and it conveys an impression of not being sure of what I’m saying.”

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When it comes to presenting, does practice make perfect?

In a word, no.

Practice makes permanent.

Your goal should be to practice perfectly, not just practice. The more you do something, the more comfortable it feels – whether right or wrong.

So, we need to do it right when we practice our presentations.

Knowing a subject doesn’t guarantee success. The ability to articulate the message and connect with audience members is what counts – and perfect practice can make this happen.

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If you are an average speaker, you suck.

So do all of your colleagues with average presentation skills.

Let’s see why this is so…

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Confessions of a Public Speaker is a highly entertaining and insightful insider’s view of public speaking, with value for speakers of all levels.

This article is the latest of a series of public speaking book reviews here on Six Minutes.

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As you struggle to improve your public speaking skills, you have probably been frustrated.

Frustrated… by nerves that never go away.

Frustrated… by audience questions that trip you up.

Frustrated… by the process of skills improvement which is more evolutionary than revolutionary.

In this article, we learn how to end the frustration by learning to love the process. We draw five speaking lessons from an extremely unlikely source: a motivational hooping video.

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Many speakers are guilty of making faulty assumptions about their presentations, and their ability to deliver them well. Sometimes even seasoned speaking professionals like me fall victim to this behavior.

How about you?

In this article, you will learn:

  • 8 common faulty assumptions you might be making;
  • the subsequent result on your presentations; and
  • how to fix your flawed thinking.

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