Saturday, April 10, 2010

Readers share their best speaking tips. What's yours?

(Note: I've updated this post to include more entries.) Over at The Eloquent Woman on Facebook, I asked fans to share their best piece of speaking advice, so we could make a useful list for all to share.  Here are more than a dozen tips, ideas and encouragement for you from your fellow speakers:
  1. Cass Andra said "take.your.time."
  2. Tarkessa Frazier urged "Never compromise yourself."
  3. Jacki Hudson French advises "know your audience."
  4. Gina Pera thinks you should "Get over your own ego concerns and serve the audience."
  5. Marian Lacy Alderson got practical, saying "don't eat chocolate 30 minutes before you speak in public - makes your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth."
  6. Veronica Brown added, "to Gina's point --- Public speaking, like hosting a party, is dependent on the speaker/host attending more to the needs of others than her own."
  7. Marti J. Sladek reminds you to "Relax: There is no such thing as a large audience or mass communication because each person receives your message one-on-one."
  8. Annette Long says "Smile....it will lighten up the atmosphere......."
  9. Dana Bristol-Smith offered "If you are excited and enthusiastic about what you are sharing, let your body and face show it. Though don't fake it! A fake smile and over the top enthusiasm is a turnoff."
  10. Renee Ast quoted Lou Holtz for inspiration: "Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it."
  11. Akkana Peck urged: "Practice!"
  12. Beth Schachter suggested, "If you need a venue in which to improve your speaking skills, join a local Toastmasters club. The organization gives you the opportunity to hone your skill at delivering prepared talks as well as impromptu speeches."
  13. Rob Kall said you should "weave your talk around a few stories. They make the best mnemonics and the brain evolved to tell and hear stories."
  14. Leanne Chukoskie made me smile when she wrote: "Think of that thing that makes you want to share (or smile). There is nothing like an authentic speaker or an authentic smile!"
I know this list can go past 14 items.What's your best piece of speaking advice? Add to our list in the comments.