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Four Part Series on Public Speaking: Executing Your Speech

In this four part series, we will delve into tips and tricks helping you brush up on your public speaking skills. Topics will include an introduction into public speaking, preparation for your speech, the execution, and overcoming anxiety.

Now that you have prepared for your public speaking engagement you are ready to execute your speech. Sounds simple enough, right? Not quite. There are many subtle factors that contribute to (and detract from) a speaker’s success on stage. Although these elements are not necessarily more important than your knowledge of the topic they can significantly increase or decrease your ability to effectively communicate with your audience. The following are all traits to keep in mind when public speaking to best impact your audience:

Mind Tools recommends thinking positively before and during your speech. Doing so will not only help you to feel more confident when taking the stage but will also help you to relax if you start getting nervous.

-You may find it helpful to visualize yourself doing an excellent job as you prepare to take the stage. Visualization, the practice of imagining yourself successfully preforming a task, has been used by the best athletes and doctors, as Psychology Today points out, and can be used to help you gather your thoughts and boost your feelings of positivity going into your speech.

Speak clearly and confidently. This will help the audience hear you and will get you on a roll helping you to move through your material in a way that is comfortable for both you and your audience.

Mind Tools recommends paying extra attention to your body language while speaking. Remember to stand up straight, make eye contact with your audience, avoid fidgeting, avoid pacing, and move your body to accentuate points (such as moving across the stage when changing topics or using your hands to emphasize a point). Doing so will help you to appear more confident and prepared for your speech.

-On the topic of eye contact, if you plan to bring note cards on stage make sure you are not reading them word-for-word. Although you may be nervous, try preparing a bullet point outline of your speech along with transition sentences to keep yourself on track while on stage.

-If you are using a slideshow do not read off the slides. Slides should complement what you are saying, as Entrepreneur Magazine suggests. If you must use a slideshow, you should plan to use your slides to list main points for your audience but avoid using any long sentences.

-Most importantly, as you take the stage, remember that everyone in the room wants to see you succeed. Your audience is here to listen to your message and they want to learn as much as possible from the information you will be delivering.

While this list of tips is long and not all points will apply to each and every public speaking engagement you take part in, it is a good jumping off point to help your fine tune your speaking skills. You may also notice that your struggle with some of these bullets more than others-that is okay. The goal is not to be the most perfect public speaker each time you present information but rather to continually learn, practice, and improve your skill set each time you engage in public speaking. This task can be much more difficult for some people than others, however, so please check back next week for the conclusion of our Four Week Series on Public Speaking where we will be tackling the issue of speaking anxiety.

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Thomas J. Curcio
Founder

Tom Curcio, the driving force behind Curcio Law, is a dedicated trial lawyer with more than 35 years of experience in Northern Virginia. He has dedicated his career to representing people who have been seriously injured through no fault of their own. He works tirelessly to obtain the compensation his clients are legally entitled to…

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Rakin Hamad
Associate

Rakin Hamad is a graduate of the George Mason Law School and joined Curcio Law as an associate in August 2018. Rakin works closely with Tom Curcio and staff in preparing cases from the initial client meeting through trial and has been a perfect fit for the firm. During law school, Rakin interned at the…

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Justin Curcio
Associate

Justin Curcio received his J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law in 2015, where he was awarded an academic scholarship. During law school, he worked for the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office and the law firm of Bartlett, McDonough & Monaghan, LLP. Justin also spent a semester studying law at the University of Glasgow…

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Kathy McAfee
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As the firm’s office manager, Kathy McAfee is dedicated to making sure the office runs smoothly and that the team has what it needs by way of resources, technology, and supplies to best serve our clients. Kathy graduated with a B.A. in Sociology from Roanoke College in 1986 and afterward, returned to Alexandria. She began…

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Riann Winget
Legal Assistant/Receptionist

Riann Winget, a native Texan, graduated with a BA in Psychology and a Minor in Legal Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017. She was a member of the varsity soccer team, Chi Omega Sorority, and was on the university board for Big Brothers Big Sisters. After graduation, she joined AmeriCorps and taught preschool…

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