Public Speaking Glen Whitman Dept. of Economics CSUN
The Traditional Rules(or, what they told me in high school speech class) • “Tell ’em what you’re gonna tell ’em; then tell ’em; then tell ’em what ya told ’em.” • Use three-point structure, and signpost. • Establish base position, then use body paragraphing. • Have regular eye contact with audience. • Eliminate filler words (um, uh, y’know).
Breaking the Rules • The traditional rules are only guidelines. Good public speakers will break them. • The learning process: Adhere strictly to the traditional rules. Selectively break rules to avoid rigidity. Start making the classic errors again. Develop your own speaking style.
Dealing with Nervousness • Practice… but not too much. • Be on time. • Perform stress-release rituals before speaking. • Always have water on hand. • Learn your own tics and be ready to deal with them.
Pleasing the Audience • Don’t go overtime. • Better to make a few points well than a dozen points poorly. • Plan which sections to leave out if necessary. • Be friendly and respectful. • Use examples and anecdotes. • Feel free to use humor, but don’t force it.
Using Notes • Do not write your whole speech on cards! • Use cards for the general outline. • Use cards for quotations, as well as specific sentences that must be stated a certain way. • If you’re relying too much on your notes, you probably have too many of them.
Using Slides and PowerPoint • Use a simple, non-flashy design. • Use a large, readable font. • Avoid screen-reading. • Avoid walking between projector and screen.
Keeping the Attention on You • Have very few points per slide. • Write less on your slides than you intend to say aloud. • Use fly-outs to ration information.
Handling Q&A • Don’t be defensive. • Be prepared to concede points and admit error. • Be prepared to admit your ignorance. • Take notes for long questions. • Answer the specific question, but return to the big picture (if you have time).