Topic – Business
Level – B1
What is your biggest fear?
How do you help yourself deal with your fear?
If hypnotism could help you forget your fear, would you be willing to try it?
The number one fear that most people share is public speaking. Some people would rather die than speak in front of a crowd. About one in every 5 people has a fear of speaking in front of a group. The biggest issue with this fear is that public speaking is a very common thing in our society and it’s hard to get away from doing it.
When people have to speak on a stage, they get nervous and get butterflies in their stomach. Their palms start to sweat and their knees tremble. They can hear their own wavering voice, further making them feel self-conscious.
Have you ever spoken in front of a lot of people? Share your experience.
How do you usually prepare for giving a speech?
What do you think is the most difficult thing to do when giving a speech?
self-conscious – worried and embarrassed about what you look like or what other people think of you
jargon -words and expressions used in a particular profession or by a particular group of people, which are difficult for other people to understand
acronym – a word made up from the first letters of the name of something, such as an organization; for example, NATO is an acronym for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
conservative – not very modern; traditional
funeral – a religious ceremony for someone who has died
periodically – happening a number of times, usually at regular times
elaborate – to give more details or new information about something
gesture – a movement of part of your body, especially your hands or head, to show what you mean or how you feel
Whenever you have to give a speech, make sure you know the subject that you are going to talk about very well. This way you will not be surprised by any questions that your audience throws at you. If you feel like there are areas of the topic which are unfamiliar to you, then have someone who is more knowledgeable help you prepare.
Unless you are sure that your audience is familiar with the subject you are talking about, don’t allow your speech to be full of jargon or acronyms. Only go into technical details when you are explaining a question, or you will bore your audience to death.
Have you ever had a very awkward moment during one of your speeches? What happened?
Have you ever given a speech without preparing for it first? What was the result?
What are some things you can do to help you remember your speech when you are on stage?
It’s very important to know about the crowd that you will be speaking to. You will understand better what to say and what not to say by researching the type of audience you will have. For example, if you were speaking at a conservative funeral, you wouldn’t crack any jokes or otherwise try to be funny, would you?
Place a friend or colleague in the audience to help your confidence. You can periodically look at them instead of staring blankly into a sea of unfamiliar faces.
Your speech should be divided into 3 parts: an introduction, body, and conclusion. Don’t simply read through your speech; instead, have bullet points and elaborate on them. Remember to insert reminders in your notes like “look up” or “make eye contact.” It’s okay to use your hands when giving a speech; body gestures will make your speech livelier.
Get to know the equipment that you will be dealing with so you will understand how everything works. That way, if there is a problem, you won’t panic and you’ll know what to do to fix it.
What types of equipment are commonly used by people who are giving a speech? What are the pros and cons of these pieces of equipment?
How do you feel when the speaker you are listening to just reads his/her notes and never looks at the audience?
Do you have any good tips about public speaking that you can share with us?
I can never understand Jeff when he starts using _______ to talk about computer programming.
1. acronym 2. funeral 3. jargon 4. self-conscious
I always feel _________ about my height when I stand around tall people.
1. conservative 2. periodically
3. self-conscious 4. funeral
Her body _______ were telling me to leave the room as soon as I could.
1. gestures 2. elaborate 3. periodically 4. acronym
Can you please _________ a little more on the subject of public speaking skills?
1. elaborate 2. self-conscious 3. periodically 4. acronym
I don’t like to go to _________, they always make me feel depressed.
1. conservative 2. gestures 3. funerals 4. jargon