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Public Speaking Course:

On Stage Tips

My public speaking course teaches that when you are presenting on stage you are saying one thing while your mind is handling numerous other things. You must connect with your audience to convey your message and always be aware of  how you deliver your material. 

Here are some On Stage Tips from my public speaking course.

  • The larger the audience, the larger and slower the gestures should be.
  • If you have a smaller crowd, or are videoconferencing, or on television, use smaller gestures.
  •  Practice eliminating distracting or nervous gestures.
  •  Let your words trigger your actions. If you are counting, hold out your fingers.
  •  Avoid clenching your fists excessively, pointing, hands in pockets, or hands on hips,
  • Hold your hands behind your back during question-and-answer sessions (don't overdo it).
  • Avoid the infamous fig leaf position where your hands are crossed in front of your groin.
  • Hold your hands open and wide apart to show sincerity and honesty.
  • If you say no, side to side shake your head no. Say yes and nod your head up and down.

I know a speaker who sat behind a controversial presidential nominee for the cabinet during a Senate confirmation hearing.  He dressed himself as a Founding Father with a tri-corn hat and everything. He smiled and shook his head "Yes" when a good question was asked by a Senator, but frowned and shook his head "No" when a Senator asked a bad question.

Very intentionally he sat in view of all the Senators as well as the news TV cameras where hundreds of thousands, or even millions were in the audience. The "Founding Father" never spoke a word, but he "spoke" volumes. Head movements can communicate volumes. The Senators approved the nominee.

While awaiting ratification of the Constitution for the United States of America, George Washington said:
"A greater drama is being acted on the American Stage than heretofore has ever been acted in the world."

So when you are "on stage", my tip is to make your public speaking performance a "greater drama" to move your audience to joy or action.

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