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Speak in public like a pro!

Public speaking can be a scary proposition. Almost everyone is asked to speak in front of a group at some point in their lives. Occasions where public speaking might be required include wedding toasts, funeral eulogies, and work presentations. If you follow these tips, you can relax and feel more prepared.

Perfect speeches for all occasions
Matt Shinn.
London : Random House, 2010.
For anyone who needs to prepare for public speaking, from being asked to "say a few words" at a party to putting together a high-level presentation Preparing and delivering speeches that make a true impact will come easily with this indispensable guide. Packed with everything from advice for speakers on structuring their thoughts to tips about mastering their nerves on the big day, it covers every aspect of speaking in public. Whether new to speaking in public or just wanting to brush up this important skill, this guide equips anyone to deal with any public speaking engagement.
     
The Reagan persuasion : charm, inspire, and deliver a winning message
James C. Humes.
Naperville, Ill. : Sourcebooks, c2010.
<b>Use the code 35JUL10 for 35% off!<p></b><p>Persuade, mentor, and motivate like the Great Communicator</p><p>More than just an influential speaker, Ronald Reagan was a master of all types of communication and employed his personal warmth and charm to rally Americans around his vision. Now, former Reagan speechwriter James C. Humes shows how you can replicate Reagan's ability to influence others and utilize his communication tools when interacting with colleagues and partners. Don't just rely on words, instead:<br>• Communicate with gestures, postures, and even clothing<br>• Learn the power of podium presence<br>• Fine-tune your humor and voice for each unique audience</p><p>Praise for James C. Humes's<br><i>Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Reagan:</i><br>"As a student of speech, I very much enjoyed this intriguing historic approach to public speaking. Humes creates a valuable and practical guide."<br>-Roger Ailes, chairman and CEO, FOX News</p><p>"I love this book. I've followed Humes's lessons for years, and he combines them all into one compact, hard-hitting resource. Get this book on your desk now."<br>-Chris Matthews, <i>Hardball with Chris Matthews</i></p>
     
Public speaking success in 20 minutes a day.
 
New York : Learning Express, 2010.
This new addition to LearningExpress's best-selling 20 Minutes a Day series is geared toward college students with course requirements to fulfill, recent graduates faced with the daunting task of interviewing for jobs, business people who need to improve their presentation skills, and anyone called upon to speak in any of a vast array of public forums. The book takes the fright out of writing and giving speeches through easy-to-digest lessons that only take minutes per day.
     

The most important point in preparing to speak in front of a group is to know your material. If you know the information you wish to convey backwards and forwards, you will feel confident presenting it to others.

Another important idea is to practice before you speak at the event. Ask a friend to listen to your speech and give you some honest feedback.

If you have been asked to offer a toast at a wedding or retirement party, make sure you are warm and funny without being embarrassing. You are speaking about people you know, so speak from the heart.

Speaking at a funeral is another time to be sensitive. Try to recall stories about the deceased that stand out in your mind. These can be sentimental or funny. They should give a sense of the person while maintaining a respectful demeanor.

Keep your audience interested. Direct eye contact makes them feel involved. Pausing allows them to reflect what you are saying. And add humor whenever appropriate.

Public Speaking tips

When making a presentation for work, use the previously mentioned tips: know your material and practice.

It is also suggested that you don’t end you presentations with a question and answer session. Instead, find a story related to your points or a call to action to end your presentation on a strong note.

Public speaking can be frightening for many people. With knowledge of your material and practice, you will gain confidence to speak in front of anyone when asked.

More about public speaking

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff