Tips You Can Use in Everyday Situations

A terrific first step to developing speaking skills is to begin to focus on how you speak in everyday speaking situations. Let’s take a look at four situations where you can begin to polish your speaking skills.

Situation #1 – Running into someone at the store

How many of you have bumped into a friend while shopping or running an errand? Here you are–another opportunity to practice your public speaking.

* Initiate the conversation.

* Ask the person how her family is doing. What’s new with her job? Does she have any vacation plans coming up?

* Tell a funny story about something that happened recently to you, your family, or your friends.

* Think about how fast you speak, how you pronounce your words, and how you organize your thoughts. This is called your natural speaking style and will come in handy here.

Situation #2 – Parties

Parties are the perfect opportunity to practice your public speaking skills. So the next party you attend, make sure you bring your bag of tricks.

* If you find yourself standing alone in a corner of the room, don’t just eat all the crab dip: Initiate a conversation with the next person who walks by.

* Introduce yourself to two new people

* Participate in a group discussion, but do not dominate the conversation

* Have a conversation with someone you may have not seen in a while.

Situation #3 – Leaving a Telephone Message

Doesn’t it seem nowadays that you leave a message or voice mail more often than reaching someone on the phone right off the bat? Telephone tag is a new corporate sport. Consider these moments golden opportunities to practice your speaking and organization skills. The next time you need to call someone, write a few brief notes so you won’t forget anything if you get the person’s voice mail–and I guarantee you, you will get their voice mail.

* Slow down! Do not speak fast when you are leaving a message, especially if you have an accent. Most answering machines today allow enough time for a short message. I can’t tell you the number of messages I get a day where I cannot understand what the caller is saying because he or she is speaking too fast. I often find myself replaying the message a few times. This is why notes come in handy. Also, SLOW DOWN when saying your telephone number.

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