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How to Make Your Speaking Easier and More Effective

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Tollefson/Peterson over UC Berkeley has made a tips sheet on how to make public speaking more effective. The document mentioned couple of good areas on delivering speech, for instance:

  • How to analyse the audience
  • How to do opening and closing for presentation
  • How to prepare your speech
  • How to deliver your speech
  • How to be confident and committing to your presentation
  • How to handle questions
  • How to get feedback

How to handle questions in my opinion is one of the hardest aspect to master on public speaking:

  • Explicitly request and encourage questions.
    • The audience will see that you have a genuine interest in what they’re
      thinking.
  • Be aware of how your behavior and comments can set the tone for questioning.
    • A negative response (e.g., “We’ve already covered that”) discourages
      further questions and may make the audience think you don’t really want
      questions.
  • Make sure everyone hears the question.
    • Repeat it if necessary.
    • But don’t make a habit of simply repeating every question.
    • Ask the audience if they heard the question; then ask the person to
      repeat.
  • Clarify questions.
    • Say, “Do you mean that . . . ,” or “I’m sorry, I don’t understand the
      question,” rather than “Your question isn’t clear.”
  • Answer questions as directly as possible.
    • Address your answer to the whole audience.
    • Ask whether you have answered the question.
  • Be diplomatic when people raise tangential, overly complicated questions,
    or persistently ask questions just to be asking.
    • Ask them to stop by after the presentation or to contact you.
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    • If a someone is simply confused, say, “Let me go over this point a
      bit more slowly.”.”

How to Make Your Speaking Easier and More Effective – [UC Berkeley]

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