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How To Handle Your Icebreaker

By Joe McGurn

Some people think that to be an effective speaker you have to be on the offensive, much like the offensive line of the the Boston Bruins.  They feel that they have to take control and outwit the opponent or the audience to get their attention, but in reality to be an effective speaker, all you really have to do is be your authentic self. While there are many people who are  successful at taking the stage by storm,there are just as many others who succeed in other ways. Speakers, like Wayne Dyer, and Steven Covey, feel that what they have to offer can change the world and make it a better place. They do not demand it or scream about it, they present quiet cerebral arguments for it. As a result intelligent people come to know and respect them. Do what feels natural and you will succeed.

First time speakers should realize that their speech has an important message in it and that it will never see the light of day unless they get up to present it. Nervous about your first speech? Here is what you need to do: 1) practice the speech 10 times a day for a few days prior to your presentation 2) An hour before the meeting take a walk for  15 or 20 minutes.  3) Visit with as many people in the room before the meeting as you can, introduce yourself, shake hands, and say hello to them (now they will be friends and not strangers). 4) Do some deep breathing exercises before you speak. 5) When you get before your audience, pause and smile at the audience, because you know them and they will all be cheering for you just like the crowds at the Boston Garden cheer for the Bruins.  Be yourself, you will be a success.

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