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  • Annie Meisels

4 Do's and Don'ts when giving a speech

1) DON'T think about yourself. Everyone is much more interested in what you have to say. It's up to you to DO this: deliver the material in an engaging and entertaining way. Whether it comes from a woman or a man or a cartoon charactor, stop thinking about you and focus on reaching the audience with your message.

DON'T repeat- what I mean by this is if you are going to use a power point, don't say the words that are displayed on the screen. Your audience will be reading them too and they will get ahead of you and you will lose them. DO take those words off of the screen, put them in your own words and elaborate on them. Give examples, metaphors (I am a big fan of metaphors) and personal experiences to help them understand the (power) point. It's always much more engaging to hear it than read it. You are 3 dimensional and the screen is only 2.

DON'T DOworry if you mess up! Your harshest judge is not your audience, it's YOURSELF. No one cares if you mess up. 3) take a breath, by 'take a breath' I mean exhale, not inhale. Exhaling is a release. It will relieve you of tension and you can get right back on topic and carry on in the dynamic way that you've learned through coaching ;). Focus on the audience and check in with them to make sure they are getting your message.

4) DO spread the love. Try to pick a few different points of the room where your eyes can land, then move from one to the other. You can change these points at any time. DON'T focus on just one person in the audience. Often times this can throw you off your game. What if that one person decides to check their phone or talk to their neighbor? You might get nervous that you're not being 'good' or 'entertaining'. Focussing on one person can make them feel uncomfortable too and your goal is to put yourself and your audience at ease.

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