Chapter 4: Stand and Deliver

Sometimes we aren't aware of the communication issues that we have because we don't actually hear ourselves speak. To do that, cup your hand over your ear and pull that ear slightly forward. Then cup your other hand over your mouth as you direct the sound to your cupped ear. This will enable you to hear your voice in the same manner as other people do. Or, you could just record yourself, play it back and analyze it for volume, pitch, tone, pace, and the nonfluencies.

More Tips on Verbal Cues:

Sharpening Your Nonverbal Cues

The nonverbal cues are the easiest skills to assess and improve. Once you review a video of yourself, you'll be able to ensure your eye contact, posture, stance, gestures, movement, facial expression, and appearance positively connects with your audience.

When you look people in the eye during a speech, they feel as if you're talking to them and them alone. To connect with people during your talk, scan the room by making eye contact with people in different sections, such as in the front, middle, and left. Look directly into people's eyes as you're talking to them and if you can, call some people by name. Get your entire audience involved and don't just focus on the people who appear interested or are taking notes.

Maintaining eye contact also allows you to gauge how you're doing. If you're met by droopy eyes or puzzled faces, you know you need to pick up the pace of the speech or clarify a few of your points so your audience can better appreciate your content. This is a very effective way to get instant feedback.

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