Public speaking and presentation

India has a largely an English speaking population. Along with other languages, English is also given equal importance right from our schooling days. That is the reason behind BPO and IT boom. The corporate world has become so competitive that if you do not know how to communicate and speak well in public, you will lag behind in the race.

Public speaking has thus become part of all our official life. Ability to communicate in a lucid manner and fluently to an audience determines the success of an individual. Today, a professional is not just a sitting duck in office. He is supposed to make presentation, conduct seminars, and organize workshops so it becomes imperative that they speak well.

Though we all work in a corporate environment, many amongst us suffer from ‘glossophobia’ — the fear to speak in public. The most common factor found as a hindrance to free flow communication is fear – the fear of making mistakes, the fear that the opposite person will form a negative impression of theirs. Because of this either people fumble while communicating or they forget what they have to say. The only remedy for them is to overcome fear.

First and foremost remember that we all are humans and are prone to make mistake. The moment you overcome the fear of embarrassment, you would start enjoy the work.

A presentation is only successful when you make eye contact with the audience and your action and your actions correspond to your words. Maintaining eye contacts makes the audience feel that they are part of the discussion. Your expressions add value to your content but you ought to refrain from dramatic. Similarly, while making eye contact is a good practice, it is important to ensure that you do not maintain eye contact with just group of people. Rather, try and cover the entire gathering.

A presentation or a speech is not only about eye contacts or expressions; one should also have a good voice. The best way to know how you sound is to record your own voice and then listen to it. This would enable you to gauge the modulations in your voice as well as determine if you are loud and clear enough to be heard by all. Remember, during a speech neither your loudness nor your clarity should be compromised. Give a miniscule pause between your words to avoid the overlapping of consecutive words. Voice modulation adds that extra oomph to your speech. It acts like the icing on the cake.

Also when it comes to group discussions and meetings remember that listening is as important as speaking. The tone of your voice should be emphatic yet mild during discussions and treat the entire group as one. Put forward valid points for discussions and support each point with the necessary facts and examples. This will add value to your content and make it sound more realistic.

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