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How to make a smooth delivery for a public address or limited preparation event. Public speaking tips.

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It is easy to think that polished, smooth speakers are naturally talented, but this isn't really true. Good delivery is a skill which anyone can learn. This solution offers steps to recognize and curtail nearly every delivery problem.

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Because there are a variety of reasons why people have messy speech delivery, no one solution can make you a perfectly polished speaker. It is best to use these strategies in a combination or to seek professional help if the strategies won't work.

Step 1: Diagnose your problem: videotape yourself.

Relying on others to identify your problems isn't easy. The best way to know what your delivery is like from the audience's perspective is to videotape yourself giving a practice speech to someone.

When you are alone, watch the speech all the way through without taking notes - just watch your eye contact, your hand gestures (are you wringing your hands or playing with a shirt hem or folding your notecard?), your posture, your shoulders, your feet, and listen to your voice. Are you loud enough or too loud? Is your voice "quaking" as though you are about to cry? (If so, this means you are not breathing deeply enough. Take more breaths and deeper breaths while you are speaking and the problem will disappear.) Do you repeat certain filler words like "in turn" or "in fact?" Do you use other non-words like "um" or "uh?"

The second time you watch the speech all the way through, write down each problem which bothers you. Break the problems into two categories: non-verbal and verbal. Non-verbal problems are any problems having to do with your physical nature during the speech, like your eye contact or posture. Verbal problems, therefore, are any problems relating to your voice or the words that are spoken (or not spoken).

Steps 2 and 3 are both extremely important. While it is comforting to have a quick solution to your delivery faux-pas, it is ultimately better (and more permanent) to address the underlying problems behind your delivery.

Step 2: Quick Solutions
Part A: Non-verbal problems.

For your feet, make sure to STAND STILL. This is very important. It is better to stand in one place than to practice your lawyering as though in front of a jury. If you must, rest your weight on one foot ...

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