4 Tips for Becoming an Excellent Impromptu Speaker

The first time I was called on to give an impromptu speech in front of my colleagues, I was so nervous and unprepared that I rambled incoherently for 30 seconds, then spoke as fast as I could through my key points. Later someone told me I should’ve been an auctioneer instead of a professor. Does this sound familiar to you?
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How to Overcome Nerves While Presenting

I’m going to get this out of the way: there aren’t many strategies (if any) that will get rid of the nerves altogether (unless you’ve mastered it, then I want to know about it). I’ve been presenting in some fashion or another for over 20 years and I still get nervous! This is normal, and it’s largely because of the incredible anxiety that comes with standing in front of a crowd, with all eyes and ears focusing on you. “What if” questions roil around in our brains: What if I say something dumb? What if I look bad? What if the lectern falls over and takes me down with it? (This may sound oddly specific, but it really happened to me! Pro-tip: don’t lean on the lecturn) What if, what if, what if???
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3 Strategies for Improving Physical Movement During Presentations

One of the best scenes from an otherwise mediocre movie was when Will Farrell’s character in “Talladega Nights” couldn’t figure out what to do with his hands while he was speaking in front of a large crowd. While he spoke, his arms slowly kept rising next to him, as if possessed by their own will. The humor stems from the commonality of this issue. All presenters have wondered at one time or another, “What on earth do I do with my hands?” The uncertainty often leads to awkward, distracting, or otherwise unappealing movements while speaking.
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How to Tell a Darn Good Story

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, on a dark and stormy night, people used to sit around the fire at night and tell each other stories. In fact, we were storytellers long before we had even developed a written language; stories connected us, taught valuable lessons, and created a shared history.

Storytelling continues to be integral to who we are, and mastering telling a great story is a great way to connect with any audience.  But how do we craft a great story? And what delineates a great story from a not-so-great story? After all, we’ve probably all had the experience of hearing or reading a story that just didn’t work.
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