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Performance Skills

Physical Communication
a. Carriage/Poise - Holding the body in a way that communicates the intended message.

b. Body language - Facial expression, eye contact communicating the intended message.

c. Gestures - Movement communicates the intended message.

Vocal Expressiveness
a. Volume - Adjusting volume to meet the

b. Pitch - Using pitch or tone to convey meaning.

c. Enunciation/Clarity - Speaks so that the audience understands all words.

d. Pace/Rhythm - Variety in the rate of delivery. For example, speaking more quickly to convey enthusiasm, more slowly to emphasize key points or issues.

e. Inflection - Variety of emphasis.

f. Passion/Commitment - Voice reflects a sense of involvement.

Mental Attitude
a. Self talk - Use affirmations to achieve concentration.

b. Visualization - Use visualization to create focused performance.

Use All Communication Channels
The Virtual Presentation Assistant is an online tutorial for improving your public speaking skills.

When we communicate with our audiences, we use many channels of communication. This includes non-verbal, pictorial and aural channels.

It is very important that you use as many channels as you can to communicate with your audience. The more channels of communication you can use at the same time, the better. Here is brief list of examples for each of these types:

1. gestures
2. facial expressions
3. body movement
4. posture

1. diagrams
2. charts
3. graphs
4. pictures
5. objects

1. tone of voice
2. variations in pitch and volume
3. other vocal variety
Remember it's not what you say it's how you say it and your body does speak very loudly. Only when you marry your verbal message and your nonverbal message do you begin to command presence as a speaker
• Non-verbal communication reinforces verbal communication
• Making eye contact will make you appear more credible
• Erect posture leads to easier breathing and better voice projection
• Use movement appropriately when emphasizing points or moving closer to the audience
• Use gestures appropriately when expressing emotions - too much gesturing can make you appear nervous

Preparing Your Mind for Performance
Another important aspect of performance is what you do to prepare your mind, your mental attitude. We tend to live out what we say to ourselves. "I'm nervous, I'm nervous," will only increase you tension level. Instead, try "I'm calm and relaxed" or "I'm confident and assured."

Here are examples of people who have developed specific attitude adjusters that help them prepare before performing in front of an audience.

• Broadway choreographer Bob Fosse — every day as he looked in the mirror and said, "It's show time!"

• Jack Lemmon, well known actor and comedian, had his own personal saying —
"Jack, it's magic time and you've got the wand!"

• Dorothy Sarnoff uses what she calls the Sarnoff Mantra —
I'm glad I'm here
I'm glad you're here
I care about you
I know that I know

Use your imagination to develop a personal statement to prepare you mentally for performance.

Overcoming Speaking Anxiety
By Lenny Laskowski,

Mark Twain said it best, "There are two types of speakers: those that are nervous and those that are liars".
To control nervousness — know your topic; practice your speech until you're comfortable; practice in front of others

To reduce your fear, you need to make sure you properly and thoroughly prepare yourself before you speak. Proper preparation and rehearsal can help to reduce this fear by about 75%. Proper breathing techniques can further reduce this fear by another 15%. Your mental state accounts for the remaining 10%.

Below are just a few suggestions you should use to overcome your speaking anxiety. The first and most important of all is preparation. Nothing will relax you more than to know you are properly prepared. Below are 10 steps you can take to reduce your speech anxiety.

1. Know the room - become familiar with the place in which you will speak. Arrive early and walk around the room including the speaking area. Stand at the lectern, speak into the microphone. Walk around where the audience will be seated. Walk from where you will be seated to the place where you will be speaking.

2. Know the Audience - If possible, greet some of the audience as they arrive and chat with them. It is easier to speak to a group of friends than to a group of strangers.

3. Know Your Material - If you are not familiar with your material or are uncomfortable with it, your nervousness will increase. Practice your speech or presentation and revise it until you can present it with ease.

4. Learn How to Relax - You can ease tension by doing exercises. Sit comfortable with your back straight. Breathe in slowly, hold your breath for 4 to 5 seconds, then slowly exhale. To relax your facial muscles, open your mouth and eyes wide, then close them tightly.

5. Visualize Yourself Speaking - Imagine yourself walking confidently to the lectern as the audience applauds. Imagine yourself speaking, your voice loud, clear and assured. When you visualize yourself as successful, you will be successful.

6. Realize People Want You To Succeed -
All audiences want speakers to be interesting, stimulating, informative and entertaining. They want you to succeed - not fail.

7. Don't apologize For Being Nervous -
Most of the time your nervousness does not show at all. If you don't say anything about it, nobody will notice. If you mention your nervousness or apologize for any problems you think you have with your speech, you'll only be calling attention to it. Had you remained silent, your listeners may not have noticed at all.

8. Concentrate on Your Message - not the medium - Your nervous feelings will dissipate if you focus your attention away from your anxieties and concentrate on your message and your audience, not yourself.

9. Turn Nervousness into Positive Energy - the same nervous energy that causes stage fright can be an asset to you. Harness it, and transform it into vitality and enthusiasm.

10. Gain Experience - Experience builds confidence, which is the key to effective speaking. Most beginning speakers find their anxieties decrease after each speech they give.

Performance Skills
Use All Communication Channels
Preparing Your Mind for Performance
Overcoming Speaking Anxiety

Marla’s Basic Warm-Up
Two-Minute Vocal Warm Up
King Kong