Public Speaking Q&A

Question: I got a good feeling from when I landed a good speech from the one class I took [in college]. But that had more to do with landing a [good] grade. I was a wreck before I had [to give my speech]. Kinda not worth it.

Answer: Yeah, the pre-game used to be a nightmare for me too. I’d totally lose sleep. My pre-game solution is literally knowing I’m prepared, and changing my inner thoughts to “I’ve been invited to speak.” This mantra actually works for me.

Question: How do I cut the ums and ahs when I’m speaking?

Answer: Force yourself to be silent. It takes practice, but it’s worth it.

Question: When you lose your train of thought, how do you get it back?

Answer: Try repeating what you said before you lost your train-of-thought. This technique has worked for me. Also, there’s a section during a Toastmasters meeting called Table Topics that forces you to come up with an off-the-cuff answer to a surprise question. I’ve found this experience to be very helpful when I’ve gotten off track in the real world.

Question: What’s the best way to launch a speaking career? I’ve done many presentations to professional groups, expert panels and a few conventions but I’ve never been paid.

Answer: I’m gonna recommend looking up Patricia Fripp. Also look at Darren LaCroix’s site Stage Time University. He’s the 2001 Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking, so I follow everything he says.

Question: Would teaching a dance class be a form of public speaking?

Answer: 50/50. Since I’ve taught dance classes before, I’d view it as a hands-on workshop where you’re both the speaker and the guide. But it’s def 100% up to you to as the speaker to know what order you’re going to present/demo dance moves, who you’re going to call on, keeping activities moving along, and keeping the whole room entertained.

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