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4 Key Points to Appearing More Confident

Apr 30, 2021
4 Key Points to Appearing More Confident
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Body language is an essential part of mastering public speaking skills. Your non-verbal cues will impact on how engaged your audience is, what they think of you as a presenter and the way your message is received. Even if you’ve prepared the best speech in the world, if you aren’t animated and presented the speech as a robot on stage, then your audience won’t know what you’ve said.
 
Working on your body language can make a big difference to how you come across to your audience, and how you feel about public speaking in general. We’ve put together 4 of the most important elements of your body language that will shape how successful your speech is, explaining why they’re important and how you can use them to your advantage.
 
When you speak, you do not just speak with what you say, you also speak with your body language. If you are feeling nervous, your body could be giving a different message to your audience than the one you are saying. From your facial expressions, to your posture and eye contact, they all add up to the quality of the points that you are delivering. Below are the key points to appearing more confident the next time you need to present a speech publicly.

1. Power Pose

Holding a ‘powerful pose’ resulted in people actually feeling more powerful and confident. This theory suggests that an open pose can raise testosterone levels and lower your cortisol levels, which means increasing your dominance and lowering your stress. If you have confident body language and pretend you feel powerful, you’re more likely to actually feel it! It’s all behind the way you see things, and if you begin to implement positive thinking into a routine before stepping up on that stage, most likely you will appear more confident!
 

2. Movements around the stage 

Commanding the space around you shows strong leadership. It is true that when you’re presenting, you are the leader. You lead the stage when you are presenting your ideas through verbal and non-verbal communication. Moving around the stage is a great way of showing your audience you are confident in what you’re saying and including everyone in the conversation. When you have confident body language, you’ll be more dynamic and interesting to listen to and your audience will not only be more engaged, but they will have more trust in your message too.
 

3. Good mannerism

Little gestures and habits can result from you being nervous on stage. Most people have these little habits that will make you appear less credible or too nervous, further pushing the audience attention away from your message and affect the way they perceive your points or ideas. Common habits you have that you might not be aware of are fiddling with your hair or suit, putting your hands in your pockets, and excessively using filler words such as ‘um,’ ‘so’ and ‘like’. It is important to monitor these habits and keep them to a minimum when presenting your speech.
 

4. Breathing 

Maintaining a slow, steady breath can reduce your stress levels and make you less likely to revert to nervous habits, bad posture, and excessive movement. Even though your audience can’t see your breath, it is a significant factor in portraying confident body language. Relaxed and deep breaths also ensure that you’re speaking at the right pace and your voice can project across the room, which in itself will make you feel and sound more confident.
 
Most of our body language and movement is subconscious so it can be difficult to retrain ourselves away from habits we’ve had for years. However, to master the art of public speaking you must also master your body’s language too. Of course, you don’t want to distract yourself from your speech by consciously thinking how you are standing, where you are looking, and if you’re breathing correctly.

3 Important Guide to Hand Gestures!

Apr 30, 2021
3 Important Guide to Hand Gestures!
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Your hands are great assets when presenting a speech. Movements of the hands are called gestures and they help your audience to visualise your points better. However, have you ever thought about how your hands and what you do with them when you speak in front of an audience? 
 
There are several things to take note on whenever you use hand gestures on stage.  Here are some do’s and don’ts for hand gestures when public speaking that will help you decide what to do, and what not to do the next time you speak.

1. Pay attention to where your hands are and what you’re doing with them.

Don’t appear scared with your hands by stuffing them in your pocket, hide them behind your back or run them through your hair. If you use distracting hand gestures when presenting your speech on the stage, you will prevent your audience from understanding and following what you’re saying. Instead, be purposeful with both of your hands. Let your audience see your hands and let your hands speak. 
 
a. If you are talking about a big house, move your hands far apart to illustrate just how big that house is, you can also create tiny shapes to visualise the basic structure of the house. 
 
b. If you are explaining two choices, cup your left hand to help the audience “see” choice 1, and then contrast that by cupping your right hand to help the audience “see” choice 2.
 
While some people are used to “talking with their hands,” most are still awkward to implement hand gestures in their speech. As you rehearse your presentation, practice these kinds of movements with your hands until they become smooth and spontaneous. Start to become conscious of your hand gestures when you speak in public so you can help your audience understand, process, and remember what you’re saying.
 

2. Keep your hands visible to the audience.

Make sure your hands do not disappear from the audience’s vision. The lack of gestures will push your audience to assume or figure out where your hands are instead of what you are saying. This can be distracting for them and soon enough, they will not catch what you said in your speech. 
 
In general, your hands should “speak” to the audience and they should be easily seen by the public. Make sure to roughly limit your hands from your shoulders to right above your hips. Both your arms and your hands should remain visible to your audience to make them understand what you’re doing with them. 
 

3. Use your hands in a manner that conveys confidence.

Audience can tell when you appear scared on stage, mostly this contributed from the way you use your hand gestures or not. Don’t move your hands around meaninglessly because that tells the audience that you are nervous or worried and possibly unsure about what you are saying. 
 
You can use your hands to confidently emphasize a definite point you are trying to make. This technique is effective when used, but not overused. So, only use it for the most crucial couple of points or truths. If you punctuate every point you’re making along the way, you’ll not only lose credibility but also begin to confuse your audience.
 
Lastly, consider what you’ll do with your hands. Being aware that your hands can speak and then thinking deliberately about precisely what you want your hands to say is the first step towards mastering hand gestures. If you can use your hands in purposeful ways that enhance your message with more meaning, you will be more successful in winning over your audience the next time you speak in public.

Stage Fright? Letí»s Fight That!

Apr 30, 2021
Stage Fright? Letí»s Fight That!
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Do you know that public speaking is one of the most common fear shared by grown adults? Surprisingly, a lot of people believe that speaking in front of a large group of people is worse than losing financial security. The main reason lies deep within us as humans, the fear of making a mistake has been one of the main factors as to why most people struggle with stage fright. We talked about stage fright in our previous blog here but there are still some more points to explain in this one!
 
The fear of public speaking or public performance, often called stage fright, exacts a huge effect on self-confidence which causes some people to leave school or a job or even avoid a promotion. Because of this fear, a lot have missed out on amazing opportunities to better themselves in school or workplace, which might not be a problem for some people, but for aspiring individuals, might crush them. Many, including professional speakers, suffer in silent terror of standing in front of the podium to speak out to the world. And because they feel embarrassed, people try to keep their fear a secret, even from a spouse or other close family members or friends.
 
Most of us feel a degree of nervousness when preparing to speak up or perform in front of a group. It is important to take note that some of those who are filled with panic in such a situation, or anywhere the person might be centre of attention, may be suffering from a form of social anxiety disorder. Although feeling scared to speak up in front a crowd of other people seemed common to the public, it will undoubtedly ruin the credibility of your speech.
 
Learning to improve your speaking or performance skills is good, but it’s generally not enough to effectively dissolve your fear. You must evaluate and revise any negative perceptions, beliefs, thoughts, images, and predictions you have that are related to public speaking. Learning to accept yourself and not feeling that you must prove yourself to others is at the root of healing. Therefore, it’s often helpful to uncover the deeper fears related to being seen and heard by others, showing vulnerability, and being considered less than perfect. 
 
It’s also critical to learn cognitive-behavioural methods to stop the cycle of avoiding fearful situations. Avoidance may give you immediate relief, but it reinforces your fear in the long run. If you are willing to stop avoiding your fears and learn new skills to manage them, you will develop an empowering belief and trust in yourself. Upon finding ways to cope with your fear and enhance your speaking skills, you will ultimately find a new sense of confidence in yourself. 
 
The newly found confidence will be the drive for you to keep going, achieving new milestones, and challenging yourself to a higher level each day. This is great because as you keep ascending, you will only drive yourself forward and eventually get over the fear. In facing your fear, it becomes possible to overcome performance anxiety and find comfort and ease in expressing yourself in front of others.
 
So, what are you waiting for? Challenge yourself today and get on that stage!

What Kids Say | What Can You Do When You Have Confidence?

Apr 30, 2021
Most kids these days would rather be staying inside and playing games than going out and joining social clubs to enhance their soft skills. The result of this has come in the form of them having low self-confidence and low self-esteem. Fret not, having low self-confidence is pretty common in children and teenagers and there are loads of methods you can use to gather back all that courage! To us, public speaking is a great way to enhance your confidence!
 
In this video, our students share what they can do when they have confidence within themselves, after going through our weekly classes that are offered by Ebright Public Speaking. You can watch said video below!
 

One student shared that once they have confidence, they will become a better public speaker. In this case, it is certainly true. Getting up on the stage requires you to be confident enough to take on that challenge. Even with stage fright, if you have confidence in yourself and believe that you can somehow go through the fear of presenting in front of a lot of people, then you can certainly become better at public speaking!

When you are confident with yourself, you can start to be more expressive in delivering your thoughts, according to one student. Confident people thrive from making mistakes by learning from them, making them not fear judgements but anticipates constructive criticisms to better themselves. When you reach this point in your life, it means that you are no longer sitting in your comfort zone, but you are braver than ever! Not many people have reached this point, even adults who have careers but chose to stay put in their comfortable environment. There are many people like these, time to colour the world with other types of people, confident people!
 
Confidence also allows you to try new things! According to one of our students, she shared that with confidence, you can make new friends and also explore your interests in other areas as well. This is because without confidence, you wouldn’t be able to leap over to that path, taking on new challenges and trying them out. Trying new things will then lead you to acquiring new skills, another added advantage of having confidence withing yourself. Gathering and increasing your skillsets at such a young age would surely benefit you in the future, therefore, what are you waiting for?
 
Lastly, with confidence, children can say what they want as well as do what they want. Often times they feel like they aren’t supposed to do some things because of the mental block in their mind, that is low self-confidence. But when they believe they can do it, certainly the walls will no longer be there and it will prompt these children to become better at communicating as well as sharing their thoughts. However, this is not to be confused with saying unnecessary or rude things!
 
That concludes the end of the sharing session by some of the students in Ebright Public Speaking! Again, do give the video a watch to see the students talk about the things they can do when they have confidence!

What Kids Say | Why is Eye Contact Scary?

Apr 30, 2021
Alas, eye contact is something most of our students struggle with when they present their speech, on or off stage. There are some reasons why eye contact is hard to make even for grown adult in the society. Most common reason is that people are afraid to be judged. When you look into someone eyes, you can basically see what they think of your from how their faces react to your presentation. Hence, this is why some people are so afraid at making eye contact, it’s the deep-rooted anxiety that crawls up, saying that they aren’t doing good enough while delivering their speeches. 
 
To get a clear idea of the issue, we gathered some students from Ebright Public Speaking and asked them about why eye contact is so scary to them in a video. You can watch said video below!
 

One of the students shared that some students are not ready to talk yet hence they do not know where to look to calm their nerves. It is true when you aren’t prepared fully for a speech, you will tend to look down or look up in hopes to find something written on the floor or the ceiling. Jokes aside, it is common for children to not be ready to speak and in return shy away from talking in the future because of the very same reason. Public speaking isn’t only about talking in front, it is also displaying your confidence to a live audience. Keeping eye contact makes it seem like you have authority of what you’re saying, therefore, people will be more likely to believe and listen to you.

Some said students are scared of making eye contact because there are so many people watching them, therefore, this feeling or this fear of making a mistake is prevalent. This is true as shared in earlier paragraph, most people are afraid of what others think of them. By looking away from people, they won’t need to see what their audience is currently thinking. Even though that might sound like a good idea to you, it is certainly not! Losing eye contact won’t pass you as a great public speaker. How are you going to be one when you can’t even own up to your mistakes and learn from it?
 
Lastly, one student talked about people not used to talk in front of a large audience. Of course, when it is your first time talking to a huge audience, you will feel shy and foreign. Losing eye contact is inevitable sometimes but you can definitely control it with more practice! For starters, stand in front of a mirror and talk to yourself face to face. Make sure you are looking directly in your eyes and start having conversation. Practice how to make your eye contact look more natural by reciting your speech to yourself in the mirror. With enough practice, there will certainly be progress! As the saying goes, practice makes perfect.
 
That concludes the end of the sharing session by some of the students in Ebright Public Speaking! Again, do give the video a watch to see the students talk about why eye contact is so scary to most students. 

What Kids Say | Basic Public Speaking Skills

Apr 30, 2021
As a public speaking centre, we have taught a lot of students to be confident in themselves. But what is the main thing that makes you a good public speaker? 
 
In this video, our students share what they think is the main thing that makes you a great public speaker, after going through our weekly classes that are offered by Ebright Public Speaking. You can watch said video below!
 


 

What are the basic public speaking skills?

 

1. Eye Contact

Not surprisingly, we have all students say that eye contact is one of the most important public speaking skills. This is completely true as when you are speaking in public, it is important to keep eye contact with your audience. Keeping eye contact doesn’t mean you need to stare them down without blinking, it’s more about how to naturally connect with your audience by looking at them while you share your topic! Hence, eye contact is arguably one of the most important skills of public speaking.
 

2. Hand Gestures

Besides, the students also share that hand gestures are important in order to become a great public speaker. Picture this, you are giving your speech on stage, but you keep your hands stiffly at your sides without doing anything with them. Does that sound like a proper way to engage with your audience? Certainly not! Learning how to master your hands while speaking is certainly challenging but once you get used to it, it will come naturally. The worst thing you can do with your hands is to act robotically, appearing not natural at all. 
 

3. Clear Voice

Next, our students also shared that speaking with a clear voice is also one of the skills of public speaking. When speaking in front of a crowd, you would want to be heard, and not be drowned by the sound of people talking instead. When you find people talking during your speech, there’s something wrong with your volume, pick it up and start speaking a little louder to grasp the attention again. Remember, once you are able to hold on to your audience’s attention for the whole of your speech, you have successfully delivered your points to them. 
 

4. PREP Method

Lastly, our students also say the use of PREP method in their speech preparation. If you are not familiar, PREP method is used when we prepare our speech, to come out with a complete speech that is packed with examples and reasons that greatly back up your points. When you follow this method diligently, often you won’t need to worry about your speech being incomplete. In Ebright, we strive to guide students to use this method in the beginning, serving as a simple guideline for them to follow. Of course, there are many other ways on how to deliver a speech, and you can start experimenting once you are familiar with the PREP method.
 
That concludes the end of the sharing session by some of the students in Ebright Public Speaking! Again, do give the video a watch to see the students talk about the basic skills of public speaking.

What Kids Say | Importance of Public Speaking!

Apr 30, 2021
It’s not a secret that most of us prefer to not be on stage presenting our speech. Why? Because it is quite hard to manage yourself when you are the center of attention, certainly! Therefore, Ebright believes the strength of public speaking in youth and how it affects their confidence greatly. We always stand with trying to help as many students as we can to master the art of speaking in public.
 
In this video, our students share the importance of public speaking themselves, after going through our weekly classes that are offered by Ebright Public Speaking. You can watch said video below!


 

One of our students shared that public speaking is important for them to communicate with each other. Being able to communicate with each other is important in the real world, as information are pass through communicating verbally and non-verbally. Even with a lot of advancement in technology that requires little to no face to face interaction at all, ultimately humans will still need to communicate effectively. Picking up soft skills like public speaking and storytelling are some of the pathways to enhance communication skills. 
 
Furthermore, public speaking is also important to deliver information to the crowd. Usually public speaking is done to influence or to inform an audience about something beneficial and important to the speaker. Hence, the reason why public speaking is so important is because through that medium, the speaker is able to influence his audience and in some special cases, guide them to be better in some aspects of their lives. For example, if you are giving a speech about mental health and one of the person in the crowd is silently struggling with their own battles, if you deliver your points to inspire or reassure them, you might even save a life!
 
Besides that, another student shares that public speaking is important if in the future, you want to pursue your dream and become someone influential. As mentioned before, public speaking allows you to influence and to persuade people for the better. Those with these skills are only a few but it is certainly able to be enhanced, especially if you start practicing it from a younger age. To become influential is a responsibility, therefore, being able to communicate effectively is important to achieve that dream.
 
Practicing speaking on stage and in front of a huge audience has certainly helped this student because she shared that public speaking has helped her a lot to think properly on stage whenever she is stuck in nerves. This is usual for everyone as stage fright is inevitable and hard to dismiss once you have accustomed it to something awful in your brain. Therefore, to be able to practice and evaluate their growth is something we really pay attention to in Ebright. 
 
That concludes the end of the sharing session by some of the students in Ebright Public Speaking! Again, do give the video a watch to see the students talk about the importance of public speaking.

3 Simple Tips to be Expressive in Public Speaking

Apr 30, 2021
Being able to grasp the attention of your audience is one of the sole purposes of public speaking. Imagine standing on stage and reciting all your points with passion and determination, but your audience is just staring blankly back at you. Quite sad if you think about it! Of course, when you walk up the stage and start your speech, you want nothing more than the audience keeping track of what you are saying. If you have ever experienced something like this, maybe it’s time to switch things up. In this blog post, Ebright will share 3 tips on how to be expressive in public speaking.
 
It is no secret that the aim to grab the attention of your audience is a difficult thing to do. That’s why great public speakers spent so much time perfecting their performance in order to be more influential and interesting to watch. But fret not! You can also be one of these bunch just by practicing the tips given as below.
 

 

1. Use Your Voice

Your voice is the key factor when trying to get the attention of your audience. Picture this, you’re talking on stage about something you than can change the world, but your tone sounds indifferent. Even though your points are great, people won’t lend their ears to listen to your points because you didn’t sound as expressive as your points are supposed be. Instead, try changing your voice to a high or low volume to stress on certain points. You can also change the pacing of your voice as this creates suspense or a sense of urgency. By doing so, you can actively convey how you feel to the audience. 
 

2. Use Facial Expression

This seems like a simple step but most people are too concerned with what their points and presentation to actually use facial expressions. Facial expression is one of the keyways on how to express your emotions while delivering your speech. This adds a sentimental value to your performance so when you are delivering with such emotions, you’ll get your audience hooked up pretty quickly. Your face must reflect how you feel. Your mouth, eyes and even eyebrows play an important role to convince your audience. To practice, you can look in the mirror and try making expressions when talking about specific things. This way, you can learn how to control them when you are presenting. 
 

3. Use Body Language

Your body language comprises your hand gesture, posture and even how you walk around the stage. It’s a huge element that makes up your speech, as this is what your audience will be looking at mostly when you are on stage, delivering that speech. Here’s a tip: different body langue will portray different emotion. How you stand how you move your hands will impact your speech greatly. So if you want to be more expressive, don’t forget to use your hands when mentioning specific things, so it can special whenever you mentioned that one point only. 
 
It’s easy to just stand on the stage and recite your speech as planned. The next step is to try and implement these tips in order for you to become more expressive! The more you share your emotions on stage, the better rapport you will have with your audience, creating a great bond. Don’t be afraid to express your emotions!

4 Activities to Boost Your Kids' Speaking Skills!

Apr 30, 2021
Essentially, every parent’s wish is to have their children succeed in life. One of the major aspects needed to be successful is to communicate effectively. In Ebright, we strive to guide many children to improve their speaking skills through the method of public speaking. When talking about public speaking, we usually think about a stage and also a massive crowd. Actually, public speaking is about speaking to 2 or more people, so even if your audience isn’t as many as you see in a huge event, you are still speaking to them, publicly!
 
Mainly most children will say they hate school and wish to not attend every day. However, it’s mainly because of the rules they need to follow which makes it kind of restrictive to their carefree nature. Use this topic for them to start gearing up their brain for a speech. We tried this method with students in our center and a lot of them have so much to say, adding a couple of advancements and changing up the whole system to fit their preferences. Try doing this activity to allow them to speak more structurally, giving reasons and examples that back up their points. It will surely keep them excited to share.
 

1. Design Their Own School

Mainly most children will say they hate school and wish to not attend every day. However, it’s mainly because of the rules they need to follow which makes it kind of restrictive to their carefree nature. Use this topic for them to start gearing up their brain for a speech. We tried this method with students in our center and a lot of them have so much to say, adding a couple of advancements and changing up the whole system to fit their preference. Try doing this activity to allow them to speak more structurally, giving reasons and examples that back up their points. It will surely keep them excited to share!
 

2. Try Not to Laugh Challenge

This is a fun activity to do with your kids! Everyone deserves a laugh sometimes and it is even harder to hold it in when you can’t laugh! Try doing this challenge with a twist; if they laugh at the video, they will need to talk about why it made them laugh. Not only will they enjoy talking about the subject, but they can also practice good speaking skills at the same time! It’s exactly like killing two birds with one stone. All you need to prepare is a couple of funny videos and that’s about it! You can see the example we did with our students at the centre below.
 

3. Create Their Own Events

There are many events in the world, but I am pretty sure there isn’t any day dedicated to celebrating party hats! In this activity, let your kids be the creator of an event. It can be as silly as a day dedicated to eating McDonald’s or even as serious as a day to appreciate their loved ones. This activity will gear them to talk about the things they enjoy, hence they will get a lot of ideas and a bunch to talk about. Let them talk and practice their speaking skills using this activity, and sure enough, you will get to see how much they have stock in their minds. 
 

4. Positive Thinking for Kids

Low self-confidence stems from children not believing in their own capabilities. Some kids are blessed with talents and certain perks that no one else has, but because they didn’t actively talk about it, they think it is nothing special. You can try this activity and prompt them to speak about their talents and capabilities that is distinct to them as this can certainly give them a huge boost in the self-confidence department. Besides, they’ll get to practice their speech skills as well, what an amazing activity one can do!
 


Those are all the activities that we have done in our center to prompt the kids to start talking. Talking is different from speaking publicly but it is certainly the first step for a structured way of communicating. We hope this helps your kids to start their journey towards greatness!
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3 Assumptions That Come With Poor Eye Contact

Apr 30, 2021
3 Assumptions That Come With Poor Eye Contact
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What you do with your clothing, your hair, your shoes, your stance, your gestures — all these things convey a profound, rich sense. But your eyes often convey messages, and your ability to get ideas and develop personal or business relationships can be jeopardised by failing to maintain good eye contact with your conversation partner. Cues from the eyes are always very subtle, but if you do not try to regulate your eye contact in conversations, here's how you could come across to other people.
 

1. You have not planned or are highly unprepared for your thoughts.

When we consider, pause, or speak in a non-fluent manner, we generally look away. This behaviour undoubtedly serves two purposes, the first of which is to psychologically protect themselves from the humiliation of being criticised for not continuing. Second, without the interruption of the visual feedback they will get from their conversation partner, it helps them to concentrate.
 
This can easily be fixed with:
 
Giving your brain time to process what you want to come next, slow down the speech slightly. Until you answer, be upfront and casually ask for a few seconds to think. Try to communicate in concrete words rather than abstract ones. 
 

2. You don’t want to continue the conversation anymore.

For an acceptable time, holding someone's eyes is a nonverbal signal that shows the other person that you are interested and want to keep talking. By comparison, breaking eye contact communicates that you don't want to continue the conversation and want a distance that can be rooted in the psychological need to shield yourself from the perceived humiliation, guilt, or other negative feelings that may emerge from the interaction. 
 
Let’s try and fix that! Here’s how.
 
Ask more questions which are open-ended. To prove you can be observant and optimistic, drop a compliment or two into the conversation. Prep a few things to chat about in advance so that you can eliminate awkward lulls that might confirm that you are awkward. Keep up the chin. Lowering the chin is a self-protective, submissive move, while trust is shown by holding the chin up. If you don't encourage the chin to obey, it's also harder to let your eyes slip away from your conversational partner.
 

3. You think you're better than the person you're listening to or have a higher social status.

During conversation, general lowering of the eyes will give the message you submit to your conversation partner. So, if you don't look at the other
 person at all, you're basically saying “You're not important” or, slightly more egotistically, “I get to determine when you're important. I'm in charge.”
 
So, how do you fix this?
 
Physically position yourself to prevent the appearance of power, such as sitting next to the person you're talking to, rather than in front of him. ''Summarize the key points, so your partner knows that you have been processing what they have said, using inclusive, inviting terminology such as ''we'', “our” or ''Can you tell me about?”
 
The above suggestions will minimise the chances that you'll look away when you talk, or that if you do, you'll feel uncomfortable. But there's no need for you to quit. Other little tips, such as maintaining eye contact with yourself in a mirror for three or four seconds at a time or getting used to eye contact via video apps, can also help. The key point is to consider the reason that ultimately pushes you to look away. You can select the option to fix your poor eye contact that works best once you accept the root of the issue.

What Exactly is Public Speaking?

Apr 30, 2021
What Exactly is Public Speaking?
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Public speaking at the surface level is the method or act of delivering a speech to a live audience. Public speaking is widely understood to be formal, face-to-face, speaking to a group of audiences of a single person. However, it is modernly regarded as any method of speaking (formally and informally) between an audience and the speaker because of the evolution of public speaking. Basically, it's a performance to an audience that's offered live. A large range of different subjects can be addressed by public speeches. 
 
The purpose of the speech may be to teach the listeners, entertain them, or affect them. When you are able to influence a crowd, you are able to change their mindset, hence changing their lives. 
 
The aim of public speaking may be to relay knowledge, tell stories, inspire people to behave or encourage people. With three general aims, this style of speech is intentionally structured: to educate, to convince and to entertain. Knowing when public speaking is most effective and how it is done properly are key to understanding the importance of it. There are some special considerations that the speaker has to take into account, since public speaking is performed before a live audience. Soon we will touch on those, but let's take a brief look at the history of public speaking first.
 
Do you know that public speaking has, historically, been considered a part of the art of persuasion? Specific objectives can be accomplished by the act, including educating, persuading, and entertaining. Additionally, according to the speaking situation, various techniques, systems, and laws can be used. In Rome and Greece, public speaking was developed. The growth and evolutionary history of public speaking is influenced by leading thinkers from these lands. Currently, through increasingly accessible innovations such as video conferencing, immersive presentations and other non-traditional ways, technology continues to change the art of public speaking.
 
Public speaking is also performed by experts for corporate and commercial activities. By representation by a speaker 's office, or by other means, these speakers may be contracted separately. In the business world , public speaking plays a significant role. In fact, 70 percent of all jobs are assumed to require some form of public speaking. By joining a club such as Rostrum, Toastmasters International, Association of Speakers Clubs (ASC), or Speaking Circles, in which participants are given exercises to enhance their speaking abilities, public speaking skills can be established. By listening to positive feedback accompanied by new public speaking activities, participants learn by observation and practise, and hone their skills.
 
A major increase in the number of training options provided in the form of video and online courses has been seen in the new millennium. Real examples of behaviour to imitate can be provided by videos. To refine their art, experienced public speakers also participate in ongoing training and education. This could include finding advice to develop their ability to communicate, such as learning better storytelling strategies, learning how to use humour as a communication medium effectively, and actively studying their target area.
 
In short, public speaking is a powerful persuasion skill one must possess now, more than ever. Practice speaking in public and get that head start!

Impromptu: The Spontaneous Weapon!

Apr 30, 2021
Impromptu: The Spontaneous Weapon!
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What is Impromptu Speech?

Before going deep into impromptu speaking, eBright will first give you a brief definition and understand on this topic. 
 
Have you ever attended a meeting or an event where you were asked to fill in or take the place of another speaker? That is when impromptu speaking takes place. 
 
Impromptu speaking is a speech and debate individual event that involves a five- to eight-minute speech with a characteristically short preparation time of one to seven minutes. The speaker is most commonly provided with their topic in the form of a quotation, but the topic may also be presented as an object, proverb, one-word abstract, or one of the many alternative possibilities. While specific rules and norms vary with the organization and level of competition, the speeches tend to follow basic speech format, and cover topics that are both humorous and profound.
 
Impromptu Speech usually is something that most student is afraid of because of the preparation time. But disregarding the timing part, impromptu speech is one of the best ways for student to improve their public speaking skill and their critical thinking skill. 
 
It is a skill that everyone can benefit from. It can help you in social situations such as weddings and birthdays or even business!
 
We’ll begin by identifying several impromptu speaking opportunities. In our daily life, there are many opportunities that require us to have impromptu speaking such as business meeting or even your school club meeting. In the meeting, your president or the person in charge might want to hear the members or workers opinions. That is the time when you will be called and voice out your own opinions without given much time of preparation. Well, if you’re alert enough, you might have 5 to 10 minutes time of preparation that is when your boss starts to call names, you take the time when other people were speaking to do your preparation. Besides,  your everyday interactions with people around you can make you practice impromptu speaking too. When you interact with your neighbors, teachers and friends, you might need to come out with impromptu topics to continue to conversation or just to keep the conversation interesting. For example, if you’re talking with someone you respect, you’ll definitely try your best to keep the conversation going and interesting. That is the time for you to show your impromptu speaking skill. You’ll come out with topics and different ideas in your conversation in a short period of time because if not, awkward silence might occur and that for sure, you would love to avoid it.
 
Moving on, there are some techniques that can be picked on to manage last-minute speeches. The first approach comes with a simple formula which is the 4 letters word: PREP. PREP stands for Point, Reason, Example, and Point again. It is the most handy way when you want to prepare for your speech in a short period of time. Pin-pointing your main idea is very important when you want to give a speech. After knowing your point, think of a reason for it then continue with an example. The example is for your audience to understand your point and reason better as well as bring life to your story. Lastly, come up with a concluding point that wraps up your speech. This will help you to prepare a clear and essential speech in a short amount of time. To beautify your speech, you can even add some pros and cons about the topic that you want to talk about before giving your own recommendation. Pros and Cons method is always something that can be used in any topics.



One more situation that will make you have butterflies in your stomach is when you have to fill in the place of other speakers. The one thing that you have to do first when you face this situation is understand the situation from someone that knows. After understanding the situation, you can start off by sharing your own personal stories such as why you come to this event or meeting. Maybe you have just come out of a traffic jam, you can even share that too. Next, encourage some questions and answers session. This will help you to feel more at ease and comfortable to deliver your speech. 
 
Lastly, time for you to deliver your speech! There’s no time for you to practice so practice in real-time. Deliver your speech to the audience as it is just one of your practices. Don’t stress and just try to have some fun when giving your speech. Most people will applaud at your courage and willingness to stand in. Don’t fake things, just be yourself and honest to the audience. Keep in mind that “it’ll all be alright”. Bare in mind to the avoid rambling and draft out an outline before you go on stage. 
 
By understanding and following all these steps, you’ll find that impromptu speaking is actually not that scary. You’ll be a great impromptu speaker in no time! 
 
Remember, All’s Well, Ends Well! 

Pause! Are You Doing It Right?

Apr 30, 2021
Pause! Are You Doing It Right?
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A speech is not simply conveyed by words, but also by pauses. A pause isn’t a moment of “nothing”, used without a purpose. When you pause, you give your audience time to process in their mind what you have just said. A pause allows your listeners to stay engaged and enables them to follow what comes next. If you tend to speak rapidly, it is even more important to allow ample time for pauses. There are many benefits of using pauses effectively.
 

1. Pauses help your audience understand you.

Pauses allow you to punctuate your spoken words, giving your listeners clues as to when one phrase, one sentence, or one paragraph ends, and the next begins. Your audience doesn’t have the benefit of punctuation, bolding, italics, bullets, and other formatting as in written material. You’ve got to provide that, and pauses are a central way to do it.
 

2. Pauses help convey emotion.

To capitalize on this, use pauses authentically to convey emotion, just as you would during a conversation with a friend or family member. When used strategically, the pause is a tool to help you build an intellectual and emotional connection with your audience.
 

3. Pauses control the overall pace of your delivery.

Your audience has cognitive limitations and cannot absorb information beyond a certain rate. Pauses allow you to slow your rate to match their listening capacity. So, if you must read a portion of your speech, be sure to deliberately extend your pauses to mimic a more natural spontaneous speech style. Otherwise, your audience will have difficulty keeping up.
 
When should we use pauses in our speech? There are three parts in a speech that we can implement pauses in:
 
  • The Beginning: Being presented onto the stage will allow the audience to give you a warm welcome, either through cheering or clapping. It’s appropriate to thank everyone for their response, but don’t thank them straight away before beginning with your speech. Instead, take a pause between the applause and the first line of your speech. Look at the audience for 3 seconds before speaking. This moment of silence will set the tone and allow the beginning of your speech to come out with a bang.
     
  • The Climax: Building tension in a presentation will make the biggest moment of revealing your main message unforgettable. Don’t ruin the moment by rushing into the climax of your speech. Take a deep breath. Allow all the information you just shared towards the audience to settle. Then, unveil the most important and exciting parts of your speech that you want the audience to remember. 
     
  • The Conclusion: Make the most out of your speech by delivering your call to action with enough energy to excite the audience. This pause during a speech is most commonly found in political campaign speeches or motivational speeches. You can make this work for your presentation by crafting a compelling call to action for your audience. End your presentation with the benefits of your intended message and use them to create an exciting conclusion for the audience.

Pitch: How High or Low is Your Voice?

Apr 30, 2021
Pitch: How High or Low is Your Voice?
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Pitch is the highness or lowness of your voice, and it’s incredibly essential in speech delivery. Have you thought about how you use the pitch when delivering a speech in English? If not, that might be one big reason why you don’t sound natural – yet! We use pitch in order to express our emotions and attitude through a change in our intonation, or the tone of our voice. We also use pitch in order to express stress, or when we make certain syllables longer, louder, and higher in pitch.
 

Why You Need to Control Your Pitch

In order to sound more natural in English, you need to be able to control your pitch.
 
This is because many non-native speakers sound a little robotic when speaking because they don’t have a lot of pitch variation in their voice. Their tone tends to sound pretty flat and they sound slightly mechanical, like a robot. This is what we call a monotone voice: not expressive, not interesting and not clear. Non-native English speakers often have this flat pitch because pitch variation is not a big part of the sound of their native language. 
 
Pitch is created and used for different purposes in each language – and unless you’re a singer, you probably produce pitch unconsciously. In English, we use pitch variation throughout each and every sentence – for both men and women. 
 
If you’re not creating this pitch variation in your speech, the person who is listening to you might have trouble understanding you. A native speaker’s ear is expecting to hear this pitch variation, especially on stressed words and stressed syllables.
 

How to Practice Your Pitch

We each have a natural pitch on which we speak. It may or may not be good for delivering speeches. If your natural pitch needs to be lowered, work on it by consciously pitching your voice lower while talking to people. Change it a half-tone at a time. Speaking with careful enunciation and in a relatively soft tone will help you to establish the change in pitch.
 
How do you change the pitch of your voice? First, think about your baseline pitch, which is the pitch that you have when your voice is resting. Use a nonsense sound like “da” and repeat it at your baseline pitch. Then go a step higher and repeat the sound “da” one step above your baseline pitch. Continue to go as high as you can, just to see how far the pitch of your voice can vary, and then come back down to your baseline pitch.
 
Familiarize yourself with the possibilities of the pitch in your own voice. It should feel natural, not forced! Even just going one step above and one step below your baseline pitch will help you create a noticeable pitch variation that you can use in order to produce word stress. Spend 3-5 minutes each day “stretching” your pitch, going a step up and a step-down, so that you start noticing how consistently you can vary your pitch.
 

Controlling Your Pitch for Word Stress

Taking control of your pitch in this way will help make it easier to produce pitch variations when you’re speaking and working on natural-sounding word stress and intonation.
 
For example, let’s look at the word “education”: ed-u-CA-tion. The third syllable is stressed, which means the vowel is longer, louder, and higher in pitch. You need to go one step above your baseline pitch to produce noticeable word stress (together with making the syllable longer and louder). When you start emphasizing those pitch variations, other people can follow what it is that you’re trying to say and they’re able to understand which syllables and words you are stressing and emphasizing on.
 


Beyond speaking clearly, your pitch can influence people’s perceptions of you. Thus, the pitch is extremely important for clear communication between the speaker and the audience!

5 Techniques to Pace Your Speech Successfully

Apr 30, 2021
5 Techniques to Pace Your Speech Successfully
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Speaking too quickly is one of the most common speech problems—perhaps because almost all of us tend to speed up our speech when we’re stressed or excited. As a public speaker, pacing your speeches can be one of your greatest tools. It is very important to know when to get the audience fired up and when to slow things down.
 
Speech rate is the term given to the speed at which you speak. It's calculated in the number of words spoken in a minute. A normal number of words per minute (wpm) can vary hugely, depending on the geographical location, subject matter of the speech, gender of the speaker and many more factors.
 
Here are some tips for pacing and slowing down your speeches in order to communicate effectively with your audience. 
 

1. Plan pauses into your sentences

Musicians keep time with their toes—inside their shoes. You won’t see them tapping their feet, but they flex and pulse their toes in time under the shoe leather.
 
Do that when you need to pause as a physical reminder to slow down. This is especially effective if you don’t have notes and can’t write down reminders in your speech to pause. All you need to remember are mental cues, like three beats in between sentences, and let your foot keep track. Speak according to the beat, and you should find yourself slowing down while speaking.
 

2. Listen to good speakers

Listen to speakers that you admire. They could be radio presenters, TV hosts or anybody accustomed to speaking in public. Note the different rates of speech they use over the course of their presentation and how effective they are in capturing the audience’s attention. Then, try and experiment with the different rates of speeches. Find what suits the content of your speech the most.
 

3. Adjust your speech according to the audience

Bear in mind that different audiences may require different rates of speech. You would not deliver a speech to a group of schoolchildren in the same way as you deliver a speech to university students. Adjust the rate of your speech accordingly. In general, you would probably want to speak at a slower rate when talking to kids and elderly people. When talking to youths and adults, it is preferable to use different rates while speaking.
 

4. Watch out for lists

When you’re delivering a list in your speech—particularly when you know its contents by heart—you may rush through it without giving your audience time to comprehend each item.
 
Insert longer pauses between the items in a list, like this: “When we decided to raise more money, we recruited new members with experience [pause/pause/pause], put our other plans on hold [pause/pause/pause], and focused on cultivating new prospects.”
 

5. Enunciate clearly

What is enunciation? It is the act of pronouncing words clearly and distinctly. Focusing on our enunciation when we speak is one good way to slow down our speech. When we focus on enunciating clearly, we force ourselves to stop slurring and leaving out syllables when we speak. For example, dropping “g”s is one of the most common examples of poor enunciation (e.g. going, jogging, walking). Focus on not leaving out the g’s (go-ing, not go-in!).
 
Pacing your speeches is important in order to deliver your message clearly to your audience. It takes time in order to pace your speeches accordingly. Don’t give up and try to practice with your friends and family. Ask for constructive criticism and improve on them!
 

3 Tips to Pump Up Your Volume

Apr 30, 2021
3 Tips to Pump Up Your Volume
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Do you know that the volume at which you speak is important to your speech giving? It's one of the things you need to check when you speak in public. Your audience won't be able to get all the wondrous words you have to give to them if they can't hear you or if you speak so loud it’s incomprehensible. For one second, think about your voice. Are you a loud talker or soft spoken? If you have a loud and clear voice, then you're in luck. Your audience will hear you without any problem. Just be mindful to not scare them away, especially if you're using a microphone. There are three ways to get your volume set to just the right level.

 

Tip 1: Don't be Traditional

Do your sound check before the audience enters the room. Ask a fellow speaker to stand at the back of the room and help you with your sound levels. Let them give feedback of your volume instead of asking your audience they can hear you or not. Keep in mind that when a room is full, your volume will be diminished slightly so adjust accordingly and project your voice a bit more. Anchor yourself. Even if your audience can hear you at the back at the beginning of your speech, your voice will become softer when you get into your talk. It's not a very nice feeling when your audience tell you they can't hear and will most likely stop paying attention to you and begin to pay attention to their smart phones or other things they have in hand. It's too much for an audience to pay attention when someone speaks too softly. Get yourself a trusted person in the back of the room. Agree upon a gesture they are to use when your speaking becomes too quiet. That person can be your port in the volume storm.
 

Tip 2: Project your Voice

Many people can speak louder than they thought they could with some effort and practice. Yet at times it can take a vocal specialist to help get some to where they need to be. There are a few ways to increase your projection.
 
Develop the confidence to make yourself feel bigger, not louder. Imagine your volume as your message and you filling the entire room, versus shouting. Shouting isn't appealing to anyone, especially those people in the front row.
 
Relax your vocal chords. Practice humming and yawning to release tension and stretch these muscles. Hold your confidence in you, push your breath up from your diaphragm and speak from there, instead of speaking from your throat. Picture a target at the back of the room and aim your words at this target.
 

Tip 3: Is This Thing On?

Use a microphone. If you have an audience of 50 or more or if there are other distracting noises nearby, try to use a microphone. Even though it can be strange to hear your own voice echoing, the audience being able to hear you is worth the risk. If the audience even exhibits the slightest struggle to hear you, you will lose them.
 
Remember that volume is one of the most important tools in your speaker's toolkit. If they can’t hear you, you'll never catch your audience’s attention.

Top 5 Reasons Why Eye Contact is Important!

Apr 30, 2021
Top 5 Reasons Why Eye Contact is Important!
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Often public speakers get goosebumps and butterflies in their stomach before delivering their speeches. This fright will soon lead to them having poor eye contact with their audience. Researches done through interviewing a couple of amateur public speaker, almost half of them still have trouble holding an eye contact. This then will lead themselves lose confidence in their speeches and most probably end up not doing their best. Speaking of eye contact, why is it always emphasized when we talk about giving a speech in front of a huge number of people? Here is a list why eye contact is important and will surely upgrade you to become a better speaker.

1. Eye contact helps you to concentrate. 

Do you know that focusing your eyes helps you concentrate? If you keep looking around and not control your line of sight during delivering a speech, you will become lost in the middle of it. This is because you are so focused on trying to avoid eye contact with other people that you end up losing concentration on your speech. Studies also show that when your eyes wander, they will take in random and insignificant images that are sent to your brain. Your brain then will focus on those objects, significantly slowing it down.
 

2. You will look less confident.

Eye contact is also important to control how your audience perceive you. If your eyes wander non-stop and keep trying to avoid your audience, there will have an impression that you are not confident with yourself or your speech. This will then lead to them not paying attention to your words as well as not believing the points that you are trying to push through the speech. That is why keeping your eye contact is crucial to appear more confident and convincing. 
 

3. People will stop listening to you.

This point is related to the previous one. If your audience starts to have less confidence in you and your words, they will eventually stop listening to you. Not looking at people in the eye will not make them look at you back, so in a way, you will slowly lose their attention as they start thinking about something else or be distracted by their own thoughts. The last thing you want your audience to do is not pay attention to you.
 

4. Message sent and accepted.

Keeping eye contact with the people who are listening to your speech will more likely make them listen to you, or so we’ve discussed in the earlier part. When they keep listening to your speech, they will pay more attention and eventually get the message you’re trying to deliver to the crowd. A locking of eyes can be all you need to have some understand something you mean. If you’re trying to get a point across or just want some reassurance, eye contact can be an important asset in communicating your thoughts. The sole purpose of public speaking is to express yourself and if you can’t get your message across, it is not preferable as it can be considered as a failed speech.
 

5. Making people feel more engaged.

Keeping an eye contact will make your listeners feel more engaged. They will feel more invited to interact with you. They feel encouraged to signal to you how they feel about what you're saying for example with nods, frowns, or raisings of their eyebrows. This interaction can help you through delivering your speech as the involvement of the listeners can determine if they’re enjoying your words or message or not.
 
In general, eye contact is something people don’t think enough about while doing a presentation. It’s important to teach children from a young age to look people in the eye when they’re talking to them or they could develop a habit of seeming aloof or disinterested in communicating with other people. This habit will then be carried to adulthood and sometimes will jeopardize their social skills. Use your eyes to project a positive image and one look could be the catalyst for change in your life.

Fantastic Ways to Improve your Eye Contact!

Apr 30, 2021
Fantastic Ways to Improve your Eye Contact!
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Fearing eye contact can interfere with everyday social interactions. The ability to maintain good eye contact is an important aspect of social interaction these days. People who look others in the eye are perceived as friendly and welcoming as well as confident. Some people feel discomfort about making eye contact or looking other people in the eye. They are unable to look directly into other people's eyes when talking or feel like they are being judged. Some people simply aren't as comfortable making eye contact as others.
 
It is important to make eye contact during public speaking. This skill is vital to create confidence in your listeners. Individuals can learn to improve their eye contact skills and become better at making good eye contact. 

One can improve their eye contact skills through two ways:
 

1. One-on-One

If you are talking to someone one-on-one, choose a spot directly between or slightly above the listener’s eyes. If this doesn’t feel comfortable. However, do remember to look away occasionally. Staring too intensely will make people uncomfortable as well. Employing these two strategies to improve your eye contact will make your listeners feel more connected to you and increase the likelihood that you will feel more comfortable when speaking—either to a group or to an individual.
 
Some additional tips include:
 
-Use the 50/70 rule: maintain eye contact 50% of the time when speaking and 70% when listening.

-Hold eye contact for about 4 to 5 seconds at a time, or about as much time as it takes you to register the color of their eyes. When you break eye contact, glance to the side before resuming your gaze.

-When you look away, do it slowly. Looking away too quickly (darting your eyes) can make you appear nervous or shy.

-Don't look down when you look away, as this shows a lack of confidence.

-Rather than looking away, you can also look at another spot on their face. Imagine an inverted triangle connecting their eyes and mouth. Every five seconds, rotate which point of the triangle you are looking at.

-Break your gaze to make a gesture or to nod, as this appears more natural than looking away because you've grown uncomfortable with the amount of eye contact.

-Make eye contact before you start talking to someone.

-If looking someone directly in the eyes is too stressful, instead look at a spot on their nose, mouth, or chin.
 

In a Group

When speaking to a group of people, instead of thinking of the group as a whole, imagine having individual conversations with one person in the group at a time. As you speak, choose one person in the group and pretend that you are talking just with that person. Look at him as you finish your thought or sentence. As you begin a new sentence or idea, choose another person in the group and look her in the eye as you finish your thought. Make sure that you eventually include everyone in the group.
 
Of course, the fear of keeping an eye contact will still linger around even after applying these ways. But then again, practise makes perfect. The more you do those tips, the better you get at holding an eye contact naturally. But always remember to not stare intensely. 

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