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  1. #11
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    Re: Fear of public speaking: How can I overcome it?

    How to Look and Sound Confident During a Presentation

    Take time to pause. Most people use filler words because they’re afraid of silence. It takes confidence to use dramatic pauses. A pause is like the period in a written sentence. It gives your audience a break between thoughts.

    A recent story in the New York Times, for example, calls attention to the silence in between notes of a classical music piece, explaining why short pauses draw so much attention. As social beings, we are hard-wired to pay attention to breaks in the flow of communication. “We recognize the pregnant pause, the stunned silence, the expectant hush,” the author writes. “A one-beat delay on an answer can reveal hesitation or hurt, or play us for laughs.”

    Pauses are interpreted as eloquence — in music and in public speech. A simple way to learn the power of the pause is to choose one or two phrases in your next presentation that express the key message you want to leave your audience with. Pause before you deliver those lines. For example, “The most important thing I’d like you to remember is this…” Pause for two beats before you complete the sentence. Whatever you say next will be instantly memorable.

  2. #12
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    Re: Fear of public speaking: How can I overcome it?

    Don't Just Memorize Your Next Presentation - Know It Cold

    Don't only rehearse from start to finish.

    Most people start at the beginning each time they practice, resulting in an unevenly memorized script; the introduction is solid, but the conclusion is shaky. Instead of learning your script in sequence, start at a random section and complete from there. Then stitch it together. Keep in mind that movement helps commit more words to memory. If you're going to deliver your talk standing up, don't sit down to rehearse or memorize. I will often mark out a mini stage and walk across it as I would during the actual speech. Associating a section of the speech with a place on stage is a memory aide. It may be useful, too, to practice your speech in the exact outfit you'll present in, including shoes. Constantly fussing with an awkward piece of clothing mid-speech can be distracting both to you and your audience.

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