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Advice for newbie public speakers

Posted by Maria Murnane | October 2, 2012

I’ve mentioned a few times in this blog that public speaking is a great way to promote your work. Book clubs, libraries, alumni organizations, writing groups, conferences – the possibilities are numerous. However, I realize that for most people, getting up in front of an audience of any size is scary.

Public speaking can be scary!

Does the thought of public speaking make you nervous? I asked my friend Jezra Kaye, who has been helping people develop their speaking skills for nearly 20 years, for some advice for beginners. Here’s what she had to say:

  1. We all worry about being judged. But remember that the audience you’re speaking to wants you to succeed. They want to discover a wonderful new book or idea through your words. They’re on your side.
  2. Speaking to a group is no different than speaking to one friend. As they listen to you, everyone in your audience is connecting with you as an individual, on a personal level, as if they’re the only person in the room. If you speak to them the same way you would speak to one trusted and valuable friend, you’ll be doing this exactly right.
  3. Good speakers make it look “natural.” But the truth is, they’ve prepared and practiced – a lot. If you prepare your thoughts and practice out loud, this will come more and more easily every time you do it. And pretty soon, you’ll be looking like a “natural” too.

There you have it, candid thoughts from an expert whose diverse client list includes CEOs, scientists, artists, authors, and entrepreneurs. If you’d like to learn more about Jezra, visit her website.

-Maria

This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2012 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.

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