Does the thought of standing up to speak in front of a crowd make you break into a cold sweat? If so, you’re not alone! Public speaking is one of the top reported fears in the U.S., often beating out even death! Although speaking in public may always be a daunting task, there are ways to improve your skills and increase your confidence. Over the next few weeks, we’ll discuss steps you can take to learn to speak with clarity and confidence in any public speaking situation.
One of the key elements of public speaking is preparing your voice. Because public speaking can be nerve-wracking, we tend to be more tense than usual. Physical and muscular tension can negatively impact vocal quality and volume, two key aspects of successful speaking. In order to reduce tension and increase vocal quality, take some time before a public speaking event to relax your muscles. Ernest C. Daw, a member of Toastmasters, has shared these excellent exercises for you to do before you speak:
- Use your hands to massage your cheek muscles. Gently work the tips of your fingers in small circles across the entire area, below your cheek bones and down the line of your jaw.
- Stretch all the muscles in your face. Slowly work your jaw, and move your brow up and down. The more you stretch, the more agile your muscles become. Look into a mirror for this step to really get an idea of how far you can and should stretch your muscles.
- Move your tongue through its entire range of motion. Clear speech relies on the ability of your tongue to quickly and agilely form sounds. Open your mouth and stretch your tongue beyond your lips in all directions. Tongue twisters are another great exercise. Begin reciting them slowly, and then gradually pick up speed.
- Four furious friends fought for the phone.
- Three short sword sheaths.
- Rolling red wagons
- Green glass globes glow greenly.
- Six slimy snails sailed silently.
- The queen in green screamed.
Check in with us again next week, as we continue our series on techniques for improving your public speaking prowess!
For information on the New York Based Speech and Accent Reduction services offered by Corporate Speech Solutions please give us a call at 212-308-7725 or visit us on the web at www.corporatespeechsolutions.com
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