Your Guide to Successful Writing and Speaking
Throughout the history of human civilization, people have been expressing their confidence and strength, not only by force, but also by the noble art of public speaking.
The orators of ancient Greece were highly respected and valued in the community. Likewise, todays world leaders are admired and esteemed when they have the power to address the public with poise and conviction.
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Such a high regard for public speaking makes the average person cringe at the idea of talking in front of an audience no matter how big or small the size.
Whether giving a toast at a wedding or delivering a speech to a large assembly, most people make a big deal about public speaking and try to avoid it as much as possible. But public speaking should not cause such a big fuss. Challenging as it may be, public speaking can be done with a few simple guidelines.
Before Making The Speech: Preparation
Like any other endeavor, public speaking requires careful preparation to be successful. Many people would dream of having those inspired spontaneous speeches seen in movies; however, such scenes rarely happen in real life.
To have at least a decent speech, one should plan well. Even the worlds most famous leaders prepare for public addresses, and most even have teams to work on those plans.
Well, even if one does not have a speech preparation committee one can prepare for public speaking. First, one should know for what the occasion the speech is for. The Gettysburg address would definitely not be appropriate for a wedding; thus, a speech has to fit the event where it will be delivered to.
Second, one should examine the audience who will witness the speech. An assembly of academics would not take a perky speaker seriously; one should choose a suitable public speaking style based on the audience.
Third, one should ponder what is being expected in the speech. A farmers association would usually not be interested on a speech about the intricacies of beadwork; one should carefully study the subject matter to be tackled in public speaking.
Making The Speech: Writing
Again, dazzling spontaneous speeches rarely happen in real life. Most good speeches have been written before their delivery. While most noted public figures have speech-writing committees, one can make a good speech even without the help of a team of ghostwriters.
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When writing for public speaking, one should carefully organize the contents of the speech. It usually pays well to begin with a very strong introduction. It is important to catch the audiences attention early to prevent them from being bored easily. Next, the body should be purposeful.
The contents of the speech should relate well and support each other. It is not good to digress too much; though at times some deviations help attract attention when boredom arises. Lastly, one should make a conclusion that sticks to the mind. No matter how stirring a speech is, it is useless if the people forget it the instant they leave the gathering. Conclusions should give a concise but memorable recap of the body.
The Actual Public Speaking: Delivery
A written speech would not be consummated without the actual public speaking itself. This is the part most people are afraid of; but when proper planning and writing is done well, the delivery should follow easily.
One must decide whether to speak from memory or to use notes. Beginners should benefit from a script or a guide, when one becomes more comfortable speaking in public, one can start relying from memory.
Reading directly from a script can be quite boring for the audience; thus, it is important to keep constant contact with them. Speaking from memory is quite impressive, but it can be difficult to avoid missing some parts of the speech. Speaking with notes can be a good compromise so long as one is able to expound on the points well. The choice of how to deliver the speech depends entirely on the speaker; thus, it is important for one to weigh the options carefully.
Learning More About Public Speaking
Several resources could help one do well in public speaking. Several books and articles about the topic have been published and they can well be accessed through the library or the bookstore.
Many companies offer public speaking training, and such services provide in-depth courses that could help one speak well in public. There are also several articles and courses available through the Internet, some of them are even posted for free.
Top 7 Ways to Succeed in the Business of Speaking
How attractive are you as a speaker? Not, your looks, but your consistent ability to provide a quality presentation, attract clients, and be irresistibly attractive to meeting planners and speaker bureaus? Below are some useful tips that I learned while owning a national, professional speakers bureau for 13 years.
photo credit: Tim Morgan
1. Presentation do you have something interesting, inspiring, and useful to share with audiences? Be mindful of your voice (keep it deep and low pitched), your personality and attitude (positive), your tone (soft, loud. Encouraging as needed), your style, your vocabulary.
2. Connection how quickly do you get to the core of your audiences problems and challenges? Skip what is between their ears and go straight to their hearts.
3. Passion do you love what you do? Develop a niche or specialty that you truly enjoy and are good at.
4. Network enhance your speaking career by networking with 50 or more other speakers. They become your referral sources. Join the National Speakers Association a 4,000 member organization that holds conferences and has local chapters to help you with your marketing skills and networking. Call 480-968-2552 (Arizona)
5. Products write a book, booklet(s), create audio tapes, video tapes, CD/ROM. Having products will catapult your speaking career and make you more valuable to your clients. This passive income is like having frosting on the cake.
6. Value added become known as a value added speaker. Provide handouts, attend the cocktail reception before your program, stay after your speech, offer follow-up teleclasses, offer your consulting services, be a facilitator.
7. Hire a Coach The Olympic Games remind us that a world-class athlete is surrounded by a number of people whose function is to keep him/her on track. No serious athlete or professional speaker would expect to progress very far without a COACH.
When people hear that I owned a national, professional speakers bureau for 13 years, they often ask me, who are the best speakers and why? What follows are some of the characteristics of a very successful speaker who is often a highly paid speaker.
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Tell em what youre going to tell them, tell them, and then tell em what you told them.
1.They arrive early and check out the sound system and introduce themselves to audience members during the networking time.
2.They speak on a subject that their audience needs to hear. And they use words and body language that shows their passion and authenticity.
3.They connect with their audience in the first few minutes with a riveting story, a funny incident, a startling statement or perhaps a poem. They know how to make their opening remarks relate to the material that follows.
4. They have no fear. They dont only say what the audience wants to hear, but what they NEED to hear. In other words, their remarks may raise some eyebrows. They give their audiences some fresh ideas.
5.They never make more than 3-4 points in their speech. They dont feel the need to tell an audience everything they know. No one can retain it all. For each major point they tell an illustrative story. A good story evokes emotion and offers a lesson. The audience members are then only a step away from their own story.
6. They make great eye contact and make each person feel attended to. This makes them appear to be more heartfelt and really present for their audience.
7. Before closing, they summarize and reiterate their major points. They end with an inspiring story and a call to action. They hold the audience accountable to take some action in the next few days, weeks.
8.They dont talk too long. They know how much time they have been assigned and they dont exceed it.
9.They rehearse their speech a few times but never sound canned. They NEVER read their speech verbatim.
10.All successful speakers market themselves. They all promote themselves. And they all Network. They are a model of excellence. And you can be too!
First of all, here’s my disclaimer. I’m not a lawyer. The following is based on my own research and, as you’ll see, every situation is different. That’s why the use of quotes can be confusing. I do hope, however, that this can help you to make better decisions when preparing your own manuscripts or other creative projects.
Quotes are wonderful little things. They can convey a world of meaning in just a few words. And they’re everywhere: books, greeting cards, on the home pages of websites, in daily emails. But just because they’re everywhere doesn’t mean you can plop a few into your text without asking anyone’s permission. Sometimes you have to, sometimes you don’t. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when you’re trying to figure out which side you’re on.
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1. Has the quote been set down in writing?
If the quote you’re using only exists as the words someone has said, then it’s okay to use it. For instance, if you hear Paris Hilton say something on television such as “That’s hot!”, you can use the quote. You should, of course, credit her for saying it. But if Paris were to write the words down in a book, then those words are covered by copyright. You would need permission from her or her publisher to put the quote in your book or on a card.
2. Is it under copyright or in the public domain?
Copyright isn’t always an issue. If the quote is from a work that is older than seventy-five years old, most likely it is in the public domain and you won’t need permission for it. Copyright lasts throughout the author’s lifetime, plus seventy years after the author’s death.
3. Getting permission.
If you do have to get permission for a quote, start working on this right away, even if the book isn’t done and you’re not sure you’re going to use the quote. It can take months to find out who to ask for permission, and even longer to hear back once you’ve sent the request. So give yourself plenty of time. You’ll want to send a letter describing your project and requesting the right to use the quote. Note: this will only be a one time right. Getting permission for one project doesn’t mean you have permission to put the quote in other books or other projects.
Unfortunately, there is no one place where you can check to see who owns the copyright on a work. Not everyone registers their copyright since copyright is an automatic right, so the Copyright Office won’t always be able to provide the information. You can start with the obvious: the author’s publisher or literary agent. If you can’t find the author that way, then using search engines on the internet would be your next resource. Remember to look for possible family members of the author as well. It’s important to find a family member since the copyright may have passed on to heirs after an author’s death.
Remember to keep good records of everything you do in your search: sending letters, making phone calls, placing ads. If you can’t contact anyone and you decide to use the quote anyway, you’ll want to be able to show that you made a reasonable effort to find the owner of the copyright.
4. Exceptions, of course.
Here’s where things get murky. Because a quote is so short, it can also be seen as not being a substantial part of a work and therefore available for “fair use”. However, the term is vague and there’s no clear guideline on what it really covers. So when in doubt, get permission. The rules seem to be a little different if the quote you want to use is from a poem or a song. In those cases I’ve found that it’s recommended you always seek permission for those works. I’m guessing it’s because poems and songs are much shorter than books, so any quote from them is using a significant portion of the work.
One last note: don’t let seeking permissions distract you from your writing. Do your research, send out letters if you have to, and move on. If you don’t it’s highly likely that the quotes will only delay your work instead of enhancing it.