TODAY   |  May 07, 2013

4 tips to improve your public speaking skills

Bill Hoogterp is an executive coach who specializes in public speaking. His suggestions for successful speechmaking include understanding the power of successful storytelling and using body language effectively.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> whether you've got a job interview, have to speak at a pta meeting or are out on the dating scene, the idea of speaking publicly makes a lot of people crazy.

>> how do you beat the butterflies and get the room to hang on your every word? here with advice is an executive coach and founder of the public speaking program, own the room. hello, bill.

>> hello, thanks for having me.

>> how do we own the room?

>> just be yourself first of all.

>> why did you look at me when you said that?

>> a lot of people, it's a common phobia, you step up to a podium or before any crowd and you feel terrified. but you say, if you do certain things, you really can make it easy.

>> everybody thinks nervousness is really just trapped energy. everybody is fine talking to their friends, but they put a plastic bubble on your head and you start breathing your own air. when you take the bubble off and focus on the audience.

>> you say it's not about you, it's about them is the first thing.

>> the real super-secret to get over nervousness is to get over yourself. it's not about he moo. it's about the audience, that's when everything starts to flow.

>> should you have something rehearsed, if you have to speak before a group or bullet points ?

>> i like bullet points , 8 0% rehearsed, never 100%.

>> when i see somebody step to a microphone with a big long list, i'm out.

>> should people just not do that? because you're going to lose your audience right off the bat?

>> i like the bullet points , memorize the headlines, when you read the newspaper, you read the headlines first. when you're too scripted, it's all about you. i've heard kathie lee give terrific speeches, it's always about story-telling.

>> hoda, you're a terrific speech giver.

>> statistics touch the head, but stories touch the heart.

>> it's the longest art form in history. story-telling. if you can tell a good story quickly, not take too long.

>> what about humor right off the bat, does that get people on your side right away?

>> one guy said i tried to tell a joke and it didn't work. if they try in the beginning, they may not know you're funny yet. just tell another one.

>> what if something falls flat. you're standing there, you've said something, no one's reacting, they're shifting in their seats, you're blowing it.

>> or you're on national tv doing the news?

>> yes, what should you do?

>> revert with humor. the brain needs a second to defibrillate. let me retry that again or take two. let me try that again.

>> that's not funny.

>> just if you buy yourself one second, whatever is funny for you, all you need to do is buy yourself one time. but when you're human the audience pulls back and they connect even more to you.

>> do they pull for you? if you're falling flat, should you in any way rely on the kindness of strangers that are out there that are first grateful it's not them. but also think oh my gosh, you're going to be all right.

>> i think people are always rooting for you, they want you to do well. are we being judged? yes, bus people are rooting for you to do well. allowing yourself to be human does connect you with the audience even more.