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Tools for Public Speaking

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Tool # 1: Determine Your Present Skill Level

The first step in improving public-speaking skills is to asses your current ability.

1) Think about your current comfort level in speaking to groups.
2) What makes you more comfortable?
3) What experience do you have in speaking?
4) What skills would you like to work on the most?

With these goals in mind you can begin to work on your plan of action.

Over the next few weeks I will provide avtivities and tips for improving your own public speaking.

Activity 1: Where am I Speaking?

The first step of this activity is to complete the public speaking self-assessment.

Assessing Fear: Why are you scared to speak in public?

Some common answers include that the speaker may forget what to say or that everyone will see them shaking. Speakers often worry that they will look or sound stupid, that people will not taken them seriously, or that they may not know what they are talking about. While many of the most common fears will be eliminated with practice, like the tone of your voice (shaking or sounds like -uh and um) others can be overcome by practicing the speech at home and ensuring that your speech is well organized.

What are your past experiences? School, clubs, team, church? Where can I get practice? Most likely the answer is the same, school, clubs, teach, church.

One way to obtain better public speaking skills is to learn from someone else. Find someone whose skills you admire and follow their lead. If you could have speaking skills like anyone in the world, past or present - who would it be? What would those skills be like?

The things I admire most about the person's speaking style and skills are?

How do you think that this person became a good public speaker?

Finally, set speaking goals for yourself.

1) This year I will...

2) A year from now I want to be able to...

3) Ten years from now I want to be able to...

If you are interested in more public speaking opportunities try your local toastmaster club or visit 4H.org.

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