Take Command of a Room

Public speaking techniques from the pros.
May 11, 2008

The Book of Lists ranks the fear of public speaking before the fear of death. For many of us, the thought of addressing a packed house can be nerve wracking, if not paralyzing. If the thought of standing behind a podium, taking the chair at the end of a conference table, or even presenting ideas to a client leaves you feeling weak in the knees, there is help. Dr. Dilip Abayaekara has coached everyone from Pentagon top-brass, U.N. officials and corporate CEO's on how to conquer their fears and deliver stand-out speeches.

Take ten tips from Dr. Dilip on how to take your ego out of the equation and focus on your audience. It just might be the perfect recipe to banish all those public speaking jitters once and for all.

1. Speak to express, not impress.

2. Focus on blessing, not impressing.

3. The "U" (you) comes before the "I" in "public" speaking.

4. Every "I" story must have a "you" message.

5. Every member of the audience is tuned into the radio station "WIIFM"-What's In It For Me".

6. When you go fishing, do you bait the hook with what you like to eat or what the fish likes to eat? Talk about the interests and needs of your audience, not simply what interests you.

7. An effective public speaker is so busy being audience-centered, he/she has no time to be self-centered.

8. Fear of public speaking stems from the fear of being judged: if you recognize the fear you can eliminate it.

9. The love of public speaking stems from the desire to impart something of value to your audience and the belief that you have something valuable to give.

10. The most important speech you will give is the one for which you are preparing; the most important audience you will ever have is yourself.

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