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Public Speaking Tips

I Have Been Asked to Speak (gulp!)

Jerry Seinfeld said that “According to most studies, people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two fear is death . . . That means at most funerals the person delivering the eulogy would rather be in the casket.”

Indeed, many people dread having to speak in front of an audience, and dentists are no exception.  Yet public speaking can be enjoyable and rewarding. By developing some basic presentation skills, you can become a good speaker.

The key to success is in your preparation. Know your content and know your audience. What message do you want to convey? What are they interested in hearing? Once you decide your topic and approach distill your remarks down to three key messages.

Practice makes perfect. Once you've written your presentation, practice delivering it. Enthusiasm and confidence will grow as you develop your skill set through repetition. There are many effective practice methods to consider:

  • In front of a mirror
  • Before a live audience (spouse, family, friend, etc.)
  • Over the telephone
  • Into a video or audio recording device for playback (cell phone, iPod, laptop, PC, etc.)

Interested in learning more? Public Speaking: Keeping it Simple in a Complex World is a PowerPoint tutorial that provides a simple “how-do” outline designed to help you hone your public speaking skills.

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