How to Speak Like a Pro by Leon FletcherHow to Speak Like a Pro by Leon Fletcher

How to Speak Like a Pro

byLeon Fletcher

Paperback | September 29, 1996

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More than snakes, more than deep water, even more than death, people cite public speaking as their greatest fear. But with more than seventy percent of our jobs requiring the effective presentation of ideas to a group, you need to know “how to speak like a pro.”

• Seven tips to control stage fright
• How to select your subject, gather ideas, and present information
• How to start, organize, and end your speech
• The importance of practicing—and the dangers of over-practicing
• How to seem spontaneous, yet be prepared • How to deal with distractions—from hecklers to crying babies
• Eight easy-to-follow steps to preparing and presenting a speech and more

With handy checklists after each chapter!
Leon Fletcher taught public speaking to adult classes, community college students, and high school students for more than 25 years. He was the author of one of the most popular college textbooks on speech, How to Design & Deliver a Speech, and wrote and produced programs for educational television and instructional materials for RCA, S...
Title:How to Speak Like a ProFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 8.3 × 5.5 × 0.6 inPublished:September 29, 1996Publisher:Random House Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0345410351

ISBN - 13:9780345410351

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Read from the Book

INTRODUCTION   Why should you learn to “speak like a pro”?   I’ve found, during my quarter-century in management, that most successful people have one thing in common: They can speak. They can verbalize their ideas so that those ideas are heard, understood, and acted upon.   As modern society becomes increasingly complex, there is an ever-expanding need for effective verbal communication. Never before has it been more vital for men and women to transmit verbal messages that inform, persuade, entertain, motivate, and inspire. By developing this ability, you will arm yourself with the greatest success and leadership tool you can have.   No one is more qualified to write a book like this than my good friend Leon Fletcher. Leon is a distinguished educator and author whose knowledge and experience are unsurpassed. He also has the ability to write in a clear, crisp manner that makes learning easy.   If you seek to become an effective public speaker, I urge you to do two things:   First, read this excellent book. Let Leon Fletcher show you what it takes to construct and deliver a good speech.   Then, get on your feet and speak. As good as this book is, it can’t make you a good speaker unless you put its principles to work.   Don’t worry if you don’t “speak like a pro” on your first few attempts. Stay with it, and before long you’ll have developed a skill that can truly change your life.   Good speaking, Terrence J. McCann, Executive Director, Toastmasters International   1 Speaking Up!   Let thy speech be better than silence, or be silent DIONYSIUS   MORE PEOPLE SEEM to be giving more speeches than ever before.   No one is keeping score, but the increase in public speaking seems clear, dramatic, and widespread.   Business people are speaking at conferences, seminars, workshops. Parents are pleading to school boards for better schools. Ecologists are giving speeches to help preserve our lands. Housewives are speaking out about women’s issues. Politicians are appealing for votes. The elderly and retired are giving talks about their unique problems. Minorities are becoming more vocal about their needs, their goals, their frustrations.   Most of us spend about seven out of every ten waking hours communicating. Three-fourths of our communication is by speech.   The result: The average person speaks some 34,020 words a day. That’s equal to several books a week, more then twelve million words a year.   Speech is “essential” to some seven of every ten jobs says the Department of Labor. Off the job, speech is even more important.   You may well be asked, or assigned, or you may volunteer to give a speech. It may be a talk related to your job, or it may be for some social event, hobby, organization, or other activity.   But few of us like to stand up and talk before an audience. We’re nervous. We worry about saying something wrong. We’re afraid we won’t sound good. Or look all right. We’re concerned that people might not listen. Or maybe they won’t believe us. Maybe they won’t remember what we say.   And it seems like it’s an awful lot of work to get ready to give a speech. Worst of all, just the thought of giving a speech makes us nervous!   All those concerns are valid. Professional speakers as well as beginners face them.   This book will help you overcome those problems. It will show you—step-by-step—how to plan and then present effective speeches. You’ll learn how to control your nerves, pinpoint your subject, find information, organize and practice your speech. You’ll become skilled in answering questions, using a microphone, introducing a speaker, and much, much more.   But many people wonder—“Is public speaking all that useful today?”   It is indeed!   Citizens are speaking up much more frequently to government agencies. People just like you—along with many others who are far less intelligent or educated—are presenting their ideas to city councils, school boards, county trustees, planning commissions, state committees, federal hearings, to public meetings of all kinds.   Businesses and industries are holding more and more meetings for sales staffs, production teams, management personnel, all levels and all kinds of employees. They give speeches about safety and success, cooperation and competition, production and personality, motivation and meditation and a mind-boggling range of other topics.   Clubs, associations, and other organizations are having more and more of their members take part in meetings. In many groups, the president, chairman, or leader is asking or telling someone else to talk about the next project, to brief new members, or to summarize last week’s board meeting.   Churches are getting their members to present parts of the services and to speak more frequently at other activities.   Participants in self-help and self-study groups give talks to each other. Their subjects range from planning for their financial future to finding out about their previous lives on this earth.   Toastmasters, the international club in which members help each other become better speakers, has nearly doubled its membership in the last five years.   Across the nation, more than sixty-five cities have built conference centers with special rooms and equipment for public speakers.   More than 26,000,000 Americans go to over 250,000 conferences each year, where more speeches are given than anyone has counted.   But why might you have to give a speech?   Your company sent you to a conference and upon your return, management wants you to brief other staff members about what you learned.   You’ve had it with tax increases! You decide you just have to go to a meeting of your city council and plead with them to cut down on all the projects they’re approving.   You’re a member of a service club or a fraternal organization and you’ve been asked to announce a new proposal.   You’re active in your local environmental group and you want to get others involved.   You’re a volunteer teacher’s aide at your child’s school and have to give talks to the students now and then.   You’re coaching a little league team or counseling a youth group, giving pep talks, suggesting plans, reporting to the sponsors.   You have a friend running for an elective office and he expects you to speak for him at the next meeting of your club.   You’ve been called to serve on the funding committee at your church, to present an appeal for funds to various groups within the congregation.   If you’re a member of the human race, chances are high that one of these days you’ll be giving a speech.   You may be an experienced speaker—salesperson, manager, supervisor, teacher, board member, or such. But it’s been a while since you’ve had a course in public speaking. Now a refresher, a reinforcement of your speaking skills plus a preview of what’s new in how to give a talk, might help.   Or maybe you’ve never given a speech, never studied how. But you can see that it is certainly possible that before long you, too, will be standing before an audience, giving a speech.   Here’s how—in eight steps. You won’t be kidded into thinking these are easy steps. But they are platform-tested, clear, and specific. Most important—they work! They can indeed help you to speak like a pro!