Public Speakers! What Face Do You Want to Present to Your Audience?

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Public speakers don’t usually think of themselves as actors, but to get your message across in the most effective way it’s helpful to think like an actor. Consider, for a moment, who your audience is and what they’re most likely to respond to. With your purpose firmly in mind, think about how you want your audience to perceive you.

Will you be?Dramatic, Easy-going, Professorial, Artistic, Spiritual, Dynamic, Powerful, Interesting, The Specialist, The Funny Person, The Expert, The Educator, The Arbitor, Compassionate, Loving, Altruistic, Biased/Unbiased, Electrifying

As you write your talk, think about the dynamics and the emotions you want to evoke through the face you display as you speak. Be sure there is congruence between what you’re saying and how you look as you’re saying it. Whatever robes you choose to wear for your presentation, I would suggest that being Real is the one thing you always want to be.

If, for example, your purpose is to motivate people to help in the effort to save an historical building, you might want to be The Educator, The Expert, The Historian. In other words, you present yourself as an educated, knowledgeable and concerned citizen.

In addition, because you’re presenting them with reasons to take action, you will want to hold their interest with more than just facts and figures. Human interest stories and personal anecdotes can be used to tie together important but less riveting material.

Your voice must be sufficiently varied and strong to make people want to listen to you. When you present yourself in a dynamic manner you also come across as powerful, and you can better convey a sense of being part of an important movement. The sense of urgency to join others in a worthwhile project is exactly what you would want as your call to action.

Build into your speech your awareness of the faces which will best serve the purpose of your presentation. Then practice out loud so as to achieve the effects you’ve selected. Stand in front of a mirror and practice your facial and body expressions to match your voice expressions. Practice until you think you’re absolutely wonderful!You’ll be elated at the improvement in your speaking ability!

Carole McMichaels, “The From Fear to Fortune Coach” To receive your free newsletter,”The Friendly Guide to Public Speaking, please go to


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