Curso de Expressão Verbal

Dicas em inglês para falar melhor


1. Be yourself
The first and most important tip on how to improve your oral presentation and speaking is: above all, try to be natural. No technique can replace the importance of being natural. Learn, improve, progress, but when speaking, always be your natural self.

2. Pronounce words clearly
Pronounce all your words correctly and completely. By saying everything properly, the message will be better understood by listeners and the image of the speaker will be much higher. Do exercises to improve your enunciation, such as reading out loud with your finger or a pencil between your teeth while trying to speak as clearly as possible.

3. Speak with good volume and intensity
If you speak too quietly, people who are farther away will not be able to understand and, so, will not pay attention. But you should avoid speaking too loudly as well because, on top of getting tired quickly, you will also make listeners uneasy.
Use an appropriate level for each environment in which you speak. And never forget to speak with enthusiasm and energy; if you are not interested in what you are saying, your audience will not be either.

4. Speak at a good pace
Do not speak too quickly. If you have problems with diction, this will exacerbate the condition and no one will understand you. Also, do not speak too slowly or use pauses that are too long - this bores listeners. Record yourself on tape to better evaluate the speed of your speaking and help to determine what your best pace is.

5. Speak with good rhythm
Alternate your tone and speed to achieve a pleasing rhythm to your communication. People who speak at the same constant speed and tone may bore the audience - not because of the subject necessarily, but because of the 'colorless' way in which it is presented.

6. Use appropriate vocabulary
You should not use inadequate or vulgar terms, such as swear words or slang. You should also be careful not to use lots of difficult words that will not be easily understood. Also avoid the use of professional jargon when talking to people who are not familiar with it. By working to avoid inadequate or vulgar words, by restricting the hard-to-understand vocabulary from your speech and by using your professional jargon only with professionals from the same field, you will find yourself with a vocabulary that is simple, direct and appropriate for expressing all your ideas and thoughts.

7. Be careful with grammar
Depending on its severity, a grammar mistake may impair your presentation and even damage your professional image. Many people have hesitation when developing phrases and ideas because they are not sure about the use of grammatical structure. All grammar points should be correct; agreement and verb conjugation must receive special attention. One thing that is especially useful is to read books written by good writers and to observe how they build sentences and paragraphs. Reading is one of the best ways to learn grammar.

8. Maintain correct posture
Always hold yourself well. Try not to put your hands in your pockets or behind your back when you speak, avoid crossing your arms, and do not lean on tables, chairs or counters. Leave your arms free above the waist and do not use excessive gestures; too many gestures are worse than none. Distribute your weight evenly on both legs, and avoid concentrating your weight on one leg or the other as this makes you look awkward and uncoordinated. Also, do not move from side to side too much, and when you are stopped, do not stand with your legs too far apart. Your only moves should be to get closer to the audience or to emphasize a certain piece of information or point. Do not allow your torso and shoulders to drop, as this may make it appear that you are negligent or too excessively humble. And be careful not to act in the opposite way by holding your head too high or thrusting your chest forward too much. This may make it seem that you are contemptuous and arrogant. Try to appear comfortable and, whenever it is possible or appropriate, smile. Do not talk about happiness when your face is sad, or talk about sadness when your face is happy. Remember: there must be coherence between what you say and what you express. When speaking, look at everyone in the room and make sure they are listening and paying attention to your words. You must be much more careful about this when you read in public, since people are prone to look at what they are reading all the time and forget the presence of the listeners.

9. The importance of the Introduction, Body Development and Conclusion
Every speech, from a simple conversation to a formal presentation before a large audience, needs an introduction, development of the topic and a conclusion.

The introduction
At the beginning, try to deal with any possible resistance and capture the audience's interest and attention. For this purpose, you can try some of the following:

    * Tell a brief story that is closely related to your message; stories usually call attention and interest.
    * Sincerely praise the listeners.
    * Use a phrase that has impact.
    * Mention that you will not be speaking too long.
    * Make a reference to an author who is respected by the listeners.
    * Use a well-humored fact, but avoid jokes.
    * Suggest some reflection.
    * Subtly demonstrate that you know the topic and have experience in it.
    * Take the opportunity to make a comment about someone in the audience or a previous speaker, or even about something the listeners are aware of.

In the introduction, it is not recommended that you:
In the first part of the development, prepare the theme you will approach:

    * Apologize for having any health problem (flu, cold, headache, etc.), or for not being properly prepared to speak.
    * Tell jokes.
    * Ask questions when you do not want answers.
    * Start talking about controversial issues.
    * Start by using 'clichés' or over used phrases, like: Together we can go for it; One swallow does not make a summer, etc.
    * Make references to controversial authors.
    * Remember that the introduction must be brief, neutral and linked to the rest of the speech.

The development of the body
In the first part of the body development, prepare the theme you will address:

    * Say in a single sentence or two what you will be speaking about. For example: 'Today, I will be talking about the leisure time of modern society.'
    * Then, provide a historical report or analysis of the theme or suggest a problem that might be solved.
    * Finally, speak about the various aspects of the subject you would like to consider. For example: if your theme is leisure, you may refer to leisure time in the country, at the beach or at the club. In your second part, develop the main topic according to your preparation. If you provided a historical report, at this point you could talk about the situation at the present time; if you suggested a problem, you could elaborate some solutions; if you divided the theme, you could discuss the items you initiated.
      Use comparisons, examples, statistics, testimonials, anything that can confirm your thesis. If you feel the possibility that someone could object to your statements, this is the correct time to present your arguments aimed at eliminating objections.

The conclusion
At the end, briefly recapitulate and summarize - in one or two sentences - what you have presented.
Following this, as a conclusion, use the same hints proposed in the introduction: praise the audience, make a reference to somebody or something, use a well-humored fact, suggest some reflection, etc. Then, you may ask them to act according to your proposal. Do not bring your presentation to an end by saying, 'Well, that is what I had to say,' or any other poor and useless sentences.

10. Use emotion in your speech
Speak enthusiastically, vibrate with your message, let emotion and interest show in your words and actions. This will give you authority to get, and keep, your audience's interest and involvement with your presentation.

Esses e outros conceitos são desenvolvidos no curso de expressão verbal ministrado pelo Professor Reinaldo Polito.
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