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Tips on Public Speaking
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Tips on Public speaking & Communication  - by Dr. Binu James Mathew, PhD (IIT Bombay)


There are fundamentally two types of speeches

 one is a cassock-like speech, which extends the whole area, but doesn’t touch any important parts.
 The second one is a bikini speech – which touches just the important parts, nothing more than that, but leaves the audience with a lot of imagination!

So, this shows how important it is to prepare your speeches.
As you know, there are various methods of speech delivery – viz.,

 the manuscript delivery,
 memorized delivery,
 impromptu delivery and
 extemporaneous delivery

There are four steps towards a successful speech: let’s call it 4 Ps
1. Plan
2. Prepare
3. Practice
4. Present

Many of us do not feel like leaving our comfort zone, that’s to be a part of the faceless crowd. Many among us will have butterflies in our stomach – the stage fright – when we think of giving a speech or a presentation in front of an audience. You feel like something is fluttering inside you. But if you analyse the root cause behind the nervousness, you will find that they are basically due to two reasons:

1. Fear of judgment and
2. Lack of adequate preparation
Of course, none of us likes being judged, but we can’t control every thought people have about us. But we can influence favourable responses by careful planning.

 Practice, Practice, Practice is your key to confidence. More preparation increases chances of success
 Have you ever stirred into action because the speaker was so exited about the message?
 Enthusiastic deliveries promote enthusiastic responses
 Looking relaxed is one of speaker’s most difficult challenges.
 Decide what you want to say and to whom you want to say
 Distinct beginning, middle and end for your speech
 Talk about what your audience wants to hear, not want you want to say
 Remember: you and your listeners need each other
 Audience – not an adversary
 They want to know what you say
 Potential for great chemistry! Activate it!
 Style is what distinguishes you from everyone else
 We are always communicating in two languages – vocal and body languages
 Facial expressions
 Mirror practice and video taping
 Body language speaks louder than words
 Posture
 Standing – distributing the weight of the body into both legs
 Walking with firm footsteps to podium, standing at ease, 45 degree angle
 Chest up and stomach in
 Poise & Confidence
 Eye Contact
 Looking into one pair of eyes, pause for a few seconds, and move to another pair
 Gesture
 paint mental images
 Facial Expressions
 No blank-slate
 Eyes, lips, eyebrows, all are animated, conveying the message
 Pronunciation & Accent
 Voice Modulations
 Speed/Pace of Speech Vs. Thought speed
 Be natural, 120-150 words per minute
 Volume – enough for everyone in the audience
 Have something to say
 Speak with passion
 Put yourself into your speech
 Respect yourself
 Respect your audience
 Respect words
 Keep to time limits
 Humour – lighter side, but not at the expense of someone/group
 Smile – the universal gesture of goodwill

o 93% of all communication is conveyed in ways other than words
o Tone of voice: 38%
o Body language, face & appearance: 55%
o Words: 7%

To conclude, remember

 It is almost impossible to succeed if you cannot communicate effectively
 To put it positively, if you are able to make powerful presentations, your chances for career success will increase tremendously.
 “Never let them see you sweat”

With a little bit of humour and some unabashed warm-ups and a good practise, you can take advantage of the opportunity of oral presentations and transform your personal and professional personae.

( Dr. Binu James Mathew, PhD joined the College of Banking and Financial Studies (CBFS), Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, in 2004 as a Lecturer (EFL/ESL) at the English Language Centre. Presently, he undertake additional responsibilities such as designing and conducting Executive Training Programmes for CBFS and Coordinating CBFS Committees. Previously, he gained valuable academic and research experience working as a Lecturer in colleges affiliated to the University of Mumbai for 9 years, and as a Research Scholar in the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Bombay) from where he obtained his doctoral degree. He was also a part-time faculty member of the Institute of Management Studies (IMS India), Mumbai. In addition, he served part-time as a Sub-Lieutenant and Divisional Commander of Indian Navy’s NCC Unit, Ministry of Defense, in Mumbai, and have undergone naval training and activities, which is provisional under University Acts in India.  In 2002, he obtained his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) from India’s premier institute, IIT Bombay after completing M.Phil. (English) in 1995, M.A. (English) in 1994, and B.A. (English) in 1992. Besides English Language Teaching (ELT), his areas of interests are: Business Communication, Computers and Networking, CALL, and Phonetics. He has published and presented research papers in books & international conferences, compiled & edited academic material, and have been designing & conducting corporate/executive training programmes on Business Communication, Presentation & Interpersonal Skills, The Art of Presenting Information Reports and Communicative Skills in English. He can be contacted at , )


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