Tag Archives: eye contact

How to influence an audience

Influencing an audience takes a delicate balance of authority and empathy, as well as excellent public speaking skills. Continue reading

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How to deliver a punchline

So many potentially funny or powerful punchlines are undermined by bad delivery. High speed and lack of eye contact are common detractors, as is the irritating tendency to make some sort of moving-on sound (‘er’, ‘arr’, ‘um’) to cover the … Continue reading

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Public speaking is like teaching

I’m surprised how many teachers, fearless when surrounded by potentially hostile teenagers, are terrified at the idea of addressing a group of adults. Teaching skills are fundamental to successful public speaking, so if you’re a teacher worried about public speaking, … Continue reading

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Eye contact in public speaking

You may be telling a great story, making an excellent point, using your voice and your body language to give your speech or presentation colour and dynamism, but eye contact is what makes me feel you are really talking to … Continue reading

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Self-reflection: reasons not to rehearse your speech or presentation in front of a mirror

Practising public speaking in front of a mirror is a bad idea. The concept is flawed because it focuses you on precisely the wrong thing: yourself. If you’re nervous, talking to the mirror will only make it worse, as you … Continue reading

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Connect with your audience

Whether you suffer from glossophobia or embrace every opportunity to show off in front of as many people as possible, there is something about public speaking that resonates in the most primal part of the psyche. Ideally, addressing an audience … Continue reading

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Attack is the best form of defence

The author AL Kennedy got me thinking this morning with her episode of A Point of View on Radio 4 about embracing change. In it, she says, “[L]ucky and happy people… know real security involves a degree of exposure” and … Continue reading

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