presentation skills

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Presentation Skills I suffer from stage fright when addressing an audience, and this affects me in several ways. It causes me to panic at the beginning of a presentation, and I then struggle to remember what I have planned to say. When I finally get started, I always speak too quickly, thinking only about which word follows which, rather than how effectively I am communicating. Having watched Youtube videos of speeches by Georgia Tech student Nicholas Selby, as well as a Ted Talk by Amy Purdy, I have made some observations which I hope will improve my public speaking. Concerning Nicholas Selby's speech, I noted that he began with a pause which wasn't due to nerves. He appeared composed, and once he started speaking, he continued to employ regular short breaks. Whether he was doing so to compose himself, or for the audience to settle following a joke or a round of applause, it was productive in managing the pace of his speech and ensuring the audience could digest what he was saying. He also imposed a simple structure, announcing near the start that he would discuss ten key points, counting off each one as he introduced it, thus signaling to his listeners when he was about to deliver an important message. He coupled this with open body language, moving from behind the pedestal and not trying to hide behind a sheet of paper or a prop, which made him more visible to the audience, helping the listeners to feel involved. Also, he used humor, opening with a joke to release tension, both for himself and the audience, facilitating a more relaxed and controlled speech. From a critical perspective, I thought the message of the speech was overpowered by

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