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#369: Think of Yourself as a Teacher Rather Than a Speaker

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Thursday, August 12, 2010
Updated: Thursday, August 12, 2010
I am a reasonably good public speaker but, like most people, it is still uncomfortable. I am always well prepared and do a dry run but am looking for a different perspective to help me get more comfortable.

Speaking in front of a group can often result in the calmest of people experiencing anxiety, nervousness and fear. Teachers, on the other hand, rarely describe experiencing the same apprehension. Part of this comes from the reason they are in front of the audience.

Although there are some differences between speakers and teachers, there are many similarities. Regardless of whether you are teaching or speaking, you are, in fact, communicating - using your voice, body and, in some cases, audio/visual techniques. Although public speaking often features less direct interaction with the audience, the goal for both is fairly similar: sharing information with your audience and have it resonate with them.

Tip: Consider your next speech as a teaching opportunity. By making the "mental" shift, you take the pressure off of yourself (and how you are going to appear to your audience) and place it firmly on meeting your audience's need to understand, appreciate, and learn from the information you want to provide to them. In this way, you will find yourself working "with" your audience instead of talking "at" them. Be sure the physical setup will support this change in perspective (e.g., minimize the space and elevation differences between you and the audience, avoid a lectern if possible, try to make it so you can move around and inteact wit the audience).

© 2010 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  communication  speaking  teaching/training 

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