How not to live in dread of public speaking in Spanish

Ready for a public speaking in Spanish
“Microphones” flickr photo shared by Håkan Dahlström under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

Public speaking is a concern of people, particularly individuals involved in communication with other people or who want to argue on a specific topic. Frequently, professionals concerned with public speaking review psychological aspects of physical actions, such as eye contact, tone, posture, articulation, etc. However, even though the previously stated characteristics are of core importance, this post will provide some additional features, shaping it in an environment of using the Spanish language.

Firstly, a brief mentioning of the psychological features applied to any language, the so-called body language. Eye contact is definitely important, since looking at the listeners’ eyes shows determination as well as acknowledgement of the listeners’ attention. Posture should be considered as well, as being comfortable and showing authority will emphasize the meaning of what you are discussing.

Moving on, it is general knowledge that all languages have different intonation, which is why when foreigners speak English, one can often distinguish their nationality as they apply their native language intonation to the English one. In Spanish, as in English, normal statements end with a falling pitch. Questions however, differ, and in Spanish end in a falling pitch as well. Of course, one can distinguish if a sentence is a question or a statement by its context. When a person does public speaking in Spanish, it is much better if they use the right intonation and pitch. If they don’t, the listeners would be able to understand as well, but they could interpret it incorrectly, which may result in the language’s deterioration.

Another feature of a well-spoken public presentation is articulation. The more you articulate, the more influential you sound. Often, when one has to do a public speech, one is not aware of their articulation or speed of talking, being busy with what they say. But even if you’re not reinventing the wheel, your listeners will be bored if you sound like a washing machine. To improve this, there are many Spanish tongue twisters that could help you, such as the following one:

Tres tristes tigres tragaban trigo en un trigal en tres tristes trastos.
             En tres tristes trastos tragaban trigo tres tristes tigres.

Exhausting the psychological and grammatical features, we will investigate additional ways to prepare yourself for a public speech in Spanish. Firstly, listening to politicians, musicians, radio programs, etc. will better shape your view of the language. A good webpage to consult is TED Talks, in further searching for Spanish speakers, as well as this one . Even if you are not interested in the topic, you would be able to recognize the previously stated features as well as improve your vocabulary subconsciously. After you do that, you could prepare a pre-written speech yourself and try to present it from time to time while looking at your notes. It is highly recommended that you do this in front of a mirror, however odd it may sound. Also, recording yourself while talking, can illuminate some mistakes that you are not aware of. Later on, as you master giving a public speech using notes, try to do one improvising on a topic you previously have thought about.

Lastly, public speaking does not necessarily have to be official, even if the environment requires it to be. We are all people and love to have fun, hear jokes and be included in some way, as shown in the video that I included previously. Try to be as natural as you can, use a correct but simple way of speaking, include your listeners in an activity, articulate, give real-life situation examples, and have fun! Good luck

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