Speak With Confidence – Actions To Take Before You Speak

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Before preparing your speech, bear in mind the organ­ization and the type of audience to be addressed. There are many different types of audiences within every com­munity. A group of girl scouts will probably not be interested in the same things as a sales conference. Without completing your speech preliminaries you may undermine your ability to speak with confidence because of your lack of research and preparation.

A popular speaker addresses highly intelligent gather­ings of professional people, literary groups, etc., one day; the next, a football banquet, Scout Rally, or a convention of salesmen. In each instance the audience must be taken into consideration both in the speech to be delivered and the manner in which it is to be presented.

It is important to decide whether your remarks should be light or heavy, moderately serious or hilariously funny. Ask yourself: Why did they invite me? What do they want to hear from me? What do I know of their organization? Which anecdotes will please them most?

If this is a return engagement—did something interest­ing occur at the earlier meeting? Would some personal experience especially appeal to this gathering? Did they suggest a topic? And what is their particular interest in it?

Find out who is to introduce you and what would serve best as an “ad lib” opener. Well in advance, send publicity material to the organization concerning you and your speech.

In this way you will know what your audience in interested in and you can craft a speech that will be worthwhile to them. And the audience will be properly primed as to who you are. This provides you with a good reason to speak with confidence to your audience.

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