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Lesson 1. Become an Effective Speaker > Triumph over Stage Fright - Pg. 2

Become an Effective Speaker Tip 2 Many speakers believe that they are simply presenting information. In reality, they want their listeners to use that information to take action, so their talks are actually persuasive. It's important to know your purpose when you stand up to speak. · Persuade. --These are usually the most difficult types of presentations. Carleton Fiorina, for example, was trying to persuade her employees to make a change in their organization. Speak- ers like Fiorina usually use information and explanation in the service of persuasion. If you are clear in your purpose, it's easier to organize your presentation and to deliver it. Use Persuasive Talks Regularly Most persuasive talks do not involve changing the direction of a major corporation. Nor are you likely to be put in the position of Winston Churchill who used his words and distinctive speaking style to help convince the British people to keep fighting during the dark days of World War II. Nevertheless, your presentation could make a significant difference. While the world may not move from a state of war to a state of peace, your department or business unit may make an important change. Perhaps it will decide to embark on a quality improvement process or enter a new consumer market or streamline its R&D procedures. As the person who suggested this change, you have an unusual opportunity: · To make an impact on your organization and change the minds of employees. · To stand out and be remembered as the person who advocated a new direction. · To advance your own career within your department or company. Take advantage of opportunities to speak effectively about changes and developments you've ini- tiated to those who will be affected by them. Triumph over Stage Fright What runs through your mind when you think about public speaking? Perhaps you remember an incident from your childhood when you appeared in a school play and forgot one of your lines. Or you may recall standing in front of an audience at a PTA meeting and looking at 100 eyes that seemed to be staring back at you--and staring and staring and staring. It's enough to send chills up and down the spine of even the most courageous person. Indeed, most people admit that they'd rather do anything than give a presentation. And that includes root canal procedures, getting fired from a job, and even dying. Stage fright is a normal feeling for anybody who has to get up in front of an audience. Even great actors suffer from it. Plain English Stage fright is a natural anxiety that most people feel when they get up and speak before a large group of listeners. There's an old saying that he who hesitates is lost. The same may be said for anyone who is afraid to get up and speak. The people who move ahead in an organization are the same ones who seem capable of distinguishing themselves from their colleagues. Often this means that they know how to get up on their feet and deliver a clear, persuasive message. If you can give a powerful talk, not only can it catch the attention of your listeners, it can focus much of that attention on you, showcasing your ideas and showing your listeners that you are someone who knows how to be a leader.