by Ron Kurtus
Readers have sent in a total of 374 comments and questions on Speaking issues. They are listed according to date.
You can read them to further your understanding of the subject.
|Like to see about public speaking classes||Champion||USA|
|Update book to Kindle version||Resources||USA|
|Feel uncomfortable in formal settings||Fear||USA|
|Enlighten me more about public speaking||General||USA|
|Lost my confidence and afraid to speak to a group||Fear||Nigeria|
|Recording your speeches||General||Canada|
|Who can I intereview for my project?||Using Notes||USA|
|My heart beats fast before speaking to a group||Boyd Short Guide||Ghana|
|Want tips on public speaking||General||Brasil|
|My mind goes blank when speaking to a group||Fear||India|
|Worried about quivering and trembling||Fear||Australia|
|Have trouble stuttering when talking to important people||Fear||Nigeria|
|Afraid because classmates may laugh at me||Fear||Malaysia|
|Gets flustered in business meetings||Fear||USA|
|Want to know more about public speaking||Goals||Morocco|
Like to see about public speaking classes
May 24, 2010
Like to see about public speaking classes
Lance - USA (19786)
You can use our lessons for free. However, you can't improve public speaking online. You need to practice speaking to people.
My suggestion is to check into Toastmasters. They have a good, inexpensive program. For a club in your area, check:
Update book to Kindle version
May 17, 2010
I see that you have listed my book, "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Boardroom", as a resource--thanks! That edition, however, is out of print and hard to find. A newly revised and updated Kindle version is now available on Amazon. I'd appreciate it if you would replace the link to the old book with the Amazon link to the new edition!
Michael - USA (19730)
I updated the link to point to the Kindle edition of your book.
Feel uncomfortable in formal settings
May 14, 2010
When I was little I was praised for being a quiet kid. In High School I was always afraid to speak in class. I would get my heart racing, voice almost gone and my face would become red. Always self conscious. College more of the same until one day in court I felt an urge to urinate and even after I urinated I still felt the urge in my mind and body. All the sudden my heart was not racing, my voice was ok, and my face was not red. All gone. I always feel an intense urge to urinate if I am in a room with people in a formal setting or in front of authority. It has been ten years and feel better but the urge is still there. When in a conversation I feel I don't have any interesting things to talk about. I always cut people when they are speaking to introduce my point. I feel that if I could be and speak in front of people without the urge to urinate then I would get a better Job and take more chances in everyday life. example of places where I feel the urge to urinate / Uncomfortable - Stadium, Movie Theater, formal meetings with authority or group of people, before meeting with new customers.
Robert - USA (19718)
Thanks for sharing your experiences.
Being praised for being quiet when you were a kid was not something that did you any favors. A child needs to express himself in order to gain confidence in interacting with other people. Also, it made you feel a little unimportant, which may have been reflected in your fears in high school and college.
Sometimes, when someone is afraid or anxious, he may actually "pee in his pants." This thing about you feeling the urge to urinate may be a subconscious effort to relieve your fears. Building up your confidence in speaking to others with hopefully alleviate that urge.
When in a conversation, you should not worry about having something interesting to say. Instead, you should think of purposeful listening, where you ask questions to show interest in the topic. When you do that, others will feel that you are actually an interesting person.
Interrupting others means that you're disregarding what they are saying, because what you have to say is more important. It is a bad habit that can make you seem like a bore or boor. Men especially tend to interrupt women, which is especially bad in business settings.
I recommend checking into Toastmasters to help build your confidence in speaking, as well as in listening. To find a club in your area, check:
I hope these ideas help.
Enlighten me more about public speaking
May 13, 2010
plz enlighting me more about public speaking.
- USA (19717)
Feel free to go through all her public speaking lessons. You can also learn from reading all work Reader Feedback, as well as our Resources.
Lost my confidence and afraid to speak to a group
May 12, 2010
I use to b somewhat confident(in pubic speakn)until some 2 yrs ago wen i messed up b4 an audience,& eva since den,I find it xtremely difficult to express my self b4 d smallest audience,
SEUN - Nigeria (19709)
Look back at the time that you had problems speaking before an audience. Did you learn anything from that unfortunate incident? Can you think of things you could have done better in preparing for the talk?
Although it was embarrassing to do poorly in a talk, has it done you any great harm that you are afraid to speak to another group?
When you do lose your confidence about speaking before a group, you need to take a few steps back and start over, trying to build up your confidence again.
Each time you express yourself to even one or two people or friends, you are giving a mini-speech. After you talked to some friends, think back to see if they paid attention and if you did a good job. Then congratulate yourself.
Each time you do well speaking to a few people, your confidence grows. So would you will be able to build up your confidence to speak to large groups. However, it is very important when giving a speech to be well prepared and well rehearsed.
I hope this helps you in getting back to successful public speaking.
Recording your speeches
May 9, 2010
Dear School for Champions,
I like your speech. You have lots of great resources on here. It might help your users to talk about filming speeches and uploading them to www.SoapboxGuru.com. That is a great way to get feedback on their speeches, whether they belong to a club or not. Just an idea. Keep up the good work!
Chris - Canada (19693)
Your website looks like a great idea, especially allowing evaluations just as what is done in Toastmasters. I will provide a link to your site, as well as to add some material on recording a speech and submitting it.
Who can I intereview for my project?
May 6, 2010
i found this information very useful & i was wondering if there is maybe someone i can interview. my name is Andrea i am an 8th grader & i am doing a research project called the i-search. in the process of the i-search i have to include an interview & a doing activity so i was wondering if i can contact someone that i can interview.
Andrea - USA (19675)
You can send some questions that I will try to answer for you.
My heart beats fast before speaking to a group
April 30, 2010
Any time I'm about to speak, my heart beats strongly. As i go along it stops. How can let my heart beat normal at the start of evry presentation?
clifford - Ghana (19643)
It is normal to be a little nervous, such that your heart beats faster, before you speak. However, you want to gain some control over it, so it will not affect your speech.
When your heart starts to beat faster, take 6 to 8 slow, deep breaths through your nose. This should relax you. Then, when you go up to the front to give you speech, do not talk right away. Instead, silently count to 10. This puts you in more control. Finally, pick out a friend in the audience and start your speech addressing that person. This will relax you. Then as you give your speech, you can look toward the others in the audience.
I hope these ideas help. Best wishes in your speaking.
Want tips on public speaking
March 30, 2010
I will like public speaking. Some tips for me?
Jeferson - Brasil (19461)
Go through our lessons, as well as looking at our Reader Feedback.
A good place to start in speaking is through Toastmasters. If you live in or near Porto Alegre, check their club information at:
Meanwhile, look for opportunities to practice your skills. Best wishes in your public speaking.
My mind goes blank when speaking to a group
March 28, 2010
IN A GROUP DISCUSSION I GO OUT OF WORDS TO DESCRIBE ANYTHING OR ANSWER TO ANY TOPIC THEY GIVE.....THEN WHEN I SEAK TO THE PUBLIC I GO BLANK AND COMLETELY FORGET WHATEVER I HAVE PREARED.....
GAGAN - India (19452)
In a group discussion, you say what is on your mind and are not held back by fears of saying something incorrect. Also, if you forget an answer, you do not have to worry about not saying anything.
However, in a speech to a group, you are making written prepared comments. You usually try to repeat what you have written word-for-word. That puts on pressure to get things exactly correct. It also can cause problems if you forget even a sentence. Also, when speaking to a group, you are often trying to impress them.
One thing to do is to outline your speech in a logical order. Do not try to make a complex speech, but rather keep it to three main points. You can use a simple outline as a guide, highlighting the important words. No one will think less of you if you occasionally refer to your notes or outline, in case you stray from the subject. It is also handy to use if someone asks a questions. It allows you to find where you left off.
Note that teachers do not seem at a loss for words. But they often write key words or sentences on the board. It helps them recall the logic of what they have to say.
I hope these ideas help.
Worried about quivering and trembling
March 10, 2010
Do you have any tips for controlling voice quivering and trembling at the hands and knees? I am fourteen and I am giving a speech in front of my class tomorrow, but even after reading your article, I am still a bit unsure of myself.
Krystal - Australia (19353)
Practice giving the speech in front of your parents or friends. This is a real audience, and will assure you know what you will be saying. Have some notes, just in case you get stuck in the speech.
Before you talk, picture all the other students being anxious to hear what you have to say. That is what a speech is all about.
When you start your speech, aim it at either the teacher or at some friend in class. Once you get comfortable, it should be easier to look at the other students.
Don't worry about quivering and trembling. Most of the others won't notice it as much as you do. However, if things get too bad, there is nothing wrong with cutting your speech short by simply saying, "And that concludes my speech."
I am sure that you will do fine. Practice a little and then do a fantastic job.
Have trouble stuttering when talking to important people
March 2, 2010
I mostly have speaking stutering/stamering when i'm to talk to the important people whether in public or not.There are particuler words that mostly give me great difficulties in pronoucing. I do hope you will help me solve that problem.
looking forward to hearing from you.
Nura - Nigeria (19317)
A problem for a person who stutters or stammers is that it often happens when nervous. And then it makes the person even more nervous, causing the problem to get worse.
There are several professional singers who have problems stuttering in common conversation, but once they start singing a song, the problem goes away. The reason is that they have memorized the song. The stammering comes in speaking in conversation when the mind is searching for the right words, such that there is a disconnect.
Note that many people get nervous when speaking to someone important or someone they are trying to impress. Some may stutter, others may start to sweat or shake, and others may have their mind go blank. A good example is the young man who cannot talk when trying to impress a pretty woman.
If you are to speak to an important person, try to be well-prepared ahead of time, such that you know what you are going to say. Think in terms of speaking slowly and clearly. Keep your comments to a minimum, and if you do start to stutter, say, "Excuse me. Let me start over." Most people will understand.
Another thing is to realize that important people are not all that important. Relax and help the other person relax too, and you will do a good job at communicating your ideas.
I hope these ideas help. Best wishing in talking to people.
Afraid because classmates may laugh at me
February 25, 2010
Im doing a presentation in my class, Im okay reading it to my mom or my close friends. Its just that, Im afraid of reading it to a classmates. They're really mean and they just laugh at you when you do something wrong. Once,my teacher even laughed at me and join the company. They are all really cocky and think their too cool. This is my second presentation. I dont want to look stupid and get laughed again. Some of my classmates did their presentation, and most of them looked scared and that even makes me lose some more of my confidence. Even if I practice and record myself in a tape, Im still scared of doing this. What do I do to manage this problem properly?
Sarah - Malaysia (19291)
Even professional speakers and entertainers sometimes have problems with rude people in the audience. If it has happened before, it is something you need to prepare for.
First of all, if you are sure of the material and your ability to present it, you should have the feeling of confidence. Do not let rude or ignorant people cause you to be fearful. Everyone occasionally makes a mistake or mispronounces a word, so that is nothing to laugh about.
One thing to do is to be prepared for someone giving you a rough time. If you do make a mistake, do not be afraid to correct yourself. However, if someone laughs or tries to make fun of you, be ready to give a remark like, "Do not be embarrassed if this material is over your head." Note that you need to pause and look at the person or persons before you say that. This will show that you are in control and that you mean business.
Doing this can be scary. You can practice it with your friends, having them make fun of you and having you give some sort of clever remark.
Note that some professional speakers occasionally run into a rude person in the audience who will yell out a remark. The speakers often have retorts prepared to stifle such a remark and allow them to continue with the speech.
At the very least, preparing for someone laughing or making a remark will strengthen your performance and your presentation, even if you don't have to use it.
I hope these ideas help you to get a strong presentation.
Gets flustered in business meetings
February 11, 2010
I have used all of the methods mentioned before very recently when I had to give a best man speach in front of over 200 people. Including preparation and practicing in front of a mirror and my wife this worked and the speach went great. My biggest issue which I feel has not really been answered arises when I am in a business meeting (maybe in front of only 15-60 co-workers) and I am called upon suddenly to speak or especially read something (usually longer than a paragraph in length obviously outloud) this is when my heart will start to beat extremely rapidly and I will feel the tremble in my voice and almost not be able to catch my breath in order to continue even speaking and will just read very quickly to try and get through it. This does ruin my day even though I imagine I am thinkining that I sound and look worse than I actually do I know that the nerves are wihtout a douby appearant to those watching me and I do not sound at all confident. Any tips or advice on how to help with this situation where I am suddenly called upon and am not given time to prepare my presentation would be greatly appreciated
Brian - USA (19197)
Speaking to a group at work is very similar to public speaking. Both require preparation beforehand.
If you know that you will often be required to speak to the group at a business meeting, you should prepare and practice before the meeting. For example, if you're expected to give a report of the work done in your section, write it out and practice it once or twice. You can use notes in a meeting when giving your oral report.
Likewise, if you expect to have to read something, make some handouts or copies for everyone to follow. This should make it easier for you to read the material to the group, as well as even eliminating the need for reading it to them.
Seldom are things thrown on a person as a surprise in a business meeting. However, it is a good idea to observe the boss's style and expectations. At the very least, showing that you are well-prepared in a business meeting will enhance your reputation.
Hope these ideas help. Best wishes in your career and in your speaking.
Want to know more about public speaking
January 29, 2010
I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT PUBLIC SPEAKING PLS?
Amina - Morocco (19125)
Feel free to go through all our lessons on Public Speaking. They will help you get started.
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