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How not to make an idiot out of yourself in front of an audience

Something changes when you get in front of an audience. The same people who would be forgiving of problems with the way you speak can become very unforgiving as an audience. And so, even if you ask in advance for forgiveness, and say that you are *unaccustomed to public speaking*, as soon as you get up in front of an audience, and speak poorly, you have made an idiot out of yourself.

At the very least, an audience will look away, as if they don't want to see a bad accident. Maybe they will occupy themselves by checking their cell phones, maybe they will try to help by shouting out something like *way to go!* At the worst, people will just go away shaking their heads, wondering whatever possessed you to waste their time showing such poor speaking skills.

There are two solutions to this - either don't ever speak in front of a group, or learn how to do it correctly.

For me, I lucked out by having a couple of friends who do voice acting. One of them is +Michael Binder , whom I've known for many years and really has been my voice coach. When I first started teaching, he was kind enough to do a recording that I could play in my car, and I just listened to his voice. If you've lived in Phoenix for a while, you have heard his voice on commercials, etc. No, you probably wouldn't recognize his voice, it's simply a well-modulated voice that delivers a message.

And delivering a message is all that most of us want to do. We want to stand up and be heard. But if you've never done any voice training, you may be shocked at how bad you sound. Record your voice and play it back. If you can't believe that's your voice, believe me, it is. Some people are born with a beautiful speaking voice, and the ability to present well in front of an audience, but most aren't. If you're in the vast majority, your, um, um, um, um, speaking skills will need some work before you get in front of that audience!