Tuesday, August 14, 2007

aaj puri azaadi

so im sure lot of pple have heard of jerry seinfeld's famous joke of a poll where they found that more pple are afraid of public speaking than skydiving. in other words you would rather be the person whose dead than the person who is giving the eulogy.

im afraid of public speaking, im the person whos heart beats faster by the second and if its really quiet you can actually hear it. i just find it weird hearing my voice and having a roomful of pple hearing it too. its almost like having an out of body experience.

however, i do think i hide my fear pretty well. but in order to be a great and engaging speaker, its not enough to hide the fear. the goal is to conquer it and forget that you are presenting and people are judging you.

todays workshop was focusing on your public speaking skills. and what struck me as pretty funny and strange at the same time, nearly everyone said that they felt nervous. even those who you think are extremely well spoken and confident. it almost reinforces the fact that the only thing you need to fear is fear itself. no one really cares and everyone is as scared as you.

its good to know. heres some things i learnt and perhaps they may help others who come across this post.

1. fill the umms ...errrs.. and aahhs with pauses.
2. its OK to pause. in fact you SHOULD pause. allowing things to sink in.
3. the faster your delivery, the more junior level you depict
4. move your hands (ive always moved my hands when talking and it used to irritate my parents a lot. its funny how you have to unlearn everything you have learnt sometimes)
5. maintain eye contact and not too superficially, try and focus on one person at a time, then another. rather than skipping over quickly.
6. try to make the style slightly conversational
7. keep it simple dont overwhelm with superlative words.
8. ask questions, tell your stories if you have any. and only add jokes if you can pull it off well.
9. practice, practice practice
10. smile. a lot.

so these points are what i got out of the workshop. quite a few i faltered on espeically the umms. and errs..and pauses. i talk really fast when im nervous. like i want to get it over and done with. and i got a lot of feedback and towards the end i felt my nervousness become a little less.
The class was really sweet to me and i ended up getting quite a few positive criticisms and was told that they find me trustworthy and my gentle and smily demeanour is quite pleasant. this is a big relief to me, since banking professionals especially women have to project a more louder personality in order to be appreciated. but thats just not me. and as much as i try its hard for me to be something im not. and sometimes when someone comments its good to be yourself, you feel good.

point of this random verbose tale: be yourself and be sincere. no matter what anyone says.


Ashraf's Pen 4:01 AM  

Nice post but I think point 9 should be in bold n extremely large font

life of pi 5:01 PM  

ashraf's pen: very true. have u ever had a presentation where you never practiced. it realy does sound bad. i think only comedians can pull it off. inpromptu presentations.

Ashraf's Pen 8:20 AM  

Actually I have had presentations where I have not practiced and they were not so bad.

At that momentu r bluffing ur way through the whole thinng.

I actually had a ppt in front of like 60 ppl where I did not have an idea of what was inthe slides

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