THE TEMPO OF OUR SPEECH

      "What is the most important thing to remember when you get up to give a speech?" Here are a few common answers.  
      "Have lots of slides, so they won't be looking at me all the time."
      "Don't forget my notes."
      "Wear comfortable shoes."
      "Make sure they can hear me."

      There are probably as many answers as there are public speakers.  Here's mine: Most important? That the audience hears me and understands what I'm saying.
 
      The primary vehicle we use to make sure they understand us is, naturally, our voice. How we feel about giving the speech will influence how we sound when we actually begin to talk.

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WHAT MAKES A SPEECH GREAT?

      If I asked you, "What's the greatest speech you've ever heard in your lifetime?," would you have an immediate answer? Or would you have to think about it for awhile? For some people a great speech and a great speaker will spring to mind without any hesitation just because
they were so memorable. 

      For many of us, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 is the first to come to mind. We know it as his "I Have A Dream" speech.  We revisit that moment every year on Dr. King's birthday and we can hear it any time on YouTube.  It's accessible electronically in a way that most other historic speeches are not.  How lucky for us. 

      What made that speech great?  Why do we remember it?  It touches us in a way that few other speeches in our history have.  What did Dr. King say that was so special?  

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MAKE 2017 YOUR YEAR!

Last year I confessed that every year at this time I make a few New Year's Resolutions that I have every intention of keeping. And sometimes I actually do keep them. Sometimes I don't.  
     
      There are a few Resolutions that I seem to carry forward from year to year.  One is something about my weight.  Others are about getting organized, making more money, playing the piano again (I was pretty good for a 14-year-old) or finally getting to see the Grand Canyon. They're like old friends that I've grown really fond of and don't want to let go of.  

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4 THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU SPEAK

       At this time of year, when we're all celebrating many different holidays, we're often called upon to say a few words, or maybe more than a few, to express our thoughts and warm feelings toward our families, friends and colleagues. In order to make speaking to a large  crowd or a few close friends and family a happy experience, here are a few helpful, easy to follow secrets that experienced speakers use to entice and entertain their audiences.

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YOU'RE IN CONTROL HERE!

      Have you ever had The Dream? You know the one. It comes in the night when you have to give a speech tomorrow or a week from tomorrow, but you really, really don't want to. 

      There you are, standing alone in front of the crowd, afraid to say a word because you know you're going to mess it up. You feel exposed, vulnerable. There's nothing between you and them to protect you. Uh-oh.

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IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU, IT'S ABOUT THEM!

       People who aren't comfortable speaking in public have dozens of reasons why they can't or won't do it. Maybe it's a really debilitating fear. But maybe it's just laziness or a reluctance to work harder to achieve something that doesn't come easily. The truth is that wherever your reluctance comes from, it's possible to overcome it. Here's the question to ask yourself: "What would my life look like, how would it be improved, if I weren't afraid?"
     
      Let's imagine a few typical scenarios.

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