Tips on Preparing for a Group Discussion

Group Discussion Training by Anurag Aggarwal

Group discussion is considered as an important part of public speaking and also helps in judging one’s personality. Group discussion is an activity that is carried by 8 to 10 members in a group for 15-20 minutes (generally). It is the one of the most commonly used method to select the prospective candidates in a comparative perspective (like in job, admission in a university etc.).

In this, a topic is given to the group and then they are given 2-3 minutes to collect their views on that topic. Group discussion then starts and continues for approx. 15-20min. After that, evaluation of each member is done by the panelists and the selection is done.

Group Discussion judges your:

  • Content knowledge- You must have adequate knowledge about the given topic so that you can also points for logical arguments.
  • Communication skills- You have to be a good speaker as well as a listener as communication is a two-way process.
  •  Interpersonal skills- Formal language and mutual respect are considered.
  •  Leadership Skills- A good leader leads the group but at the same time allows the group to express their views.

Here are some tips while you prepare for a group discussion:

1) Adequate Subject Knowledge is Necessary: You should be aware of the most recent news and things happening around you, in the entire world. In-depth knowledge of the subject matter would give you even better place.

2) Keep Reading Widely and Wisely: Read passionately as it will help you in group discussions. Do not rely on last minute preparations.  Continuous reading will also enhance your vocabulary.

3) Be Awake about the Topics that are Repeated: Some topics are repeatedly used in Group Discussions with slight changes. Be aware of them well in advance so that you can prepare them well. Some of such topics are terrorism, gender inequality, root cause of corruption, poverty, reservations in educational institutions etc.

4) Select Magazines that are Rich in Content: Many magazines are just full of advertisements. Don’t go for them. Select the ones which have more knowledgeable contents.

 5) Work on your Communication Skills: Good vocabulary and good command over English can help you earn more points. Rehearse before the final day. You can do it by sitting with your friends or colleagues and choosing a topic for discussion.

6) Listen to the Topic Carefully: Listen to the topic and understand it first before starting to speak. Be attentive and observant. Sometimes, even the simplest of the topics may be presented in a different manner to puzzle you. So listen carefully and then structure it on a sheet of paper. Write the key points that you would like to mention during group discussion. Avoid deviating from the topic.

7) Be the First and also the Last to Speak: Initiating a GD is an advantage as it shows your leadership skills and confidence. And so is with ending it. Grab the opportunity to close the discussion by summarizing it or concluding it.

8) Listening Skills are Important: Group discussion is not only about speaking. You must listen to others also.  Give others a chance to speak and listen to them carefully. Acknowledge the speaker by nodding your head or saying you agree. This would show that you are listening to him/her attentively and that you are active in the discussion.

9) Body Gestures are Essential: Your body gestures speak a lot about you and the panellists are continuously observing them. Make sure to sit straight and attentively. Do not play with your pen or a key ring or any other thing. Do not get disturbed by any kind of distraction.

At ‘Anurag Aggarwal Institute of Public Speaking you are provided training in Public Speaking, Personality Development, Presentation Skills and Communication Skills. In this course you will be trained in all the above mentioned things and others that are needed to have outstanding communication skills.

More details on the course.

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MISDEEDS IN PUBLIC SPEAKING

Misdeeds in Public SpeakingBeing a human we are liable to make a mistake. Even in public speaking, many people do commit mistakes such as using foghorns like “aahhh”, “uummmm” etc. These mistakes are such pitty ones that they may be ignored by the audience to some extent. But some people in public speaking commit blunder for which the audience is not able to forgive. And this would make your public speaking go into drains.

There may be instances where a professional, a businessman may end up boring his audience for 20-25min whereas a layman might have the capability to bring rejoice in the audience.  This is all because he has understood the essentials of public speaking well.

The most common misdeeds done by people in public speaking and their solutions:

  1. Beginning your speech with “Thank you for inviting me” will take away the interest of the audience right in the beginning. Start your speech with bang and wake up your audience who is there to enjoy your public speaking skills.
  2. Public speaking, formally or informally, is an activity that requires huge efforts. Every speech needs a lot of practice before it is delivered.  “There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave.  The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.  ~Dale Carnegie
    A lazy person would surely fail to prepare and practice his speech. Not many people try to improve themselves in public speaking because of their laziness. But a person who wants to improve may find his way in a public speaking course, public speaking books, hiring a public speaking trainer, joining a public speaking club, reading public speaking blogs and so on.
  3. Some people are of the belief that public speaking skills cannot be acquired. They envy others because they think that others have been born with public speaking skills. Such people try to copy stories or speeches or presentations and thus they lack confidence. The fact is that public speakers learn the public speaking skills in the same way they learn to use other business tools.
  4. Someone said  “A speech is like a woman’s skirt: it needs to be long enough to cover the subject matter but short enough to hold the audience’s attention.”  More bullets, words, slides, examples and everything would only go waste. It would be better to focus on your core message, select only the best support material to support like examples, slides etc., and speak at a reasonable pace. Keep the supplementary material for handouts only.
  5. When you exceed the time allotted to you for the speech, you violate the contract you have with your audience, and you get you name in their bad books. You must value the time of the audience. Also remember that nobody will complain if you finish a few minutes early. But if you go beyond time, the audience have negative emotions for you.
  6. Reading a speech word for word in public speaking will put the audience to sleep. You may keep the keywords to prompt your thoughts and then make an eye-contact with the audience, and speak.
  7. Public speaking is always about the audience and the message you want to convey. So do not keep talking about yourself as though public speaking is about you only. Do not place yourself ahead of the audience. Try to recognize what is the interest of the audience. Speak what they want to hear or convey your message in the way they want to listen. If you fail to do so, you may fail to impress the audience with your presentation.

The author Anurag Aggarwal is a public speaker and a trainer on Public Speaking, Presentation Skills and Personality Development at Anurag Aggarwal Institute of Public Speaking for over 13 years and has conducted over three thousand workshops, trainings and seminars so far.

PUBLIC SPEAKING & PRESENTATION SKILLS- What is the Right Preparation of a Presentation

What is the Right Preparation of the PresentationWhat is the right kind of preparation? I have often seen students, reading an article in the newspaper, whether convinced or not convinced with the author, prepare their lecture and deliver it in the class. Does preparation mean picking up any topic and start speaking in front of an audience?

Or it is to lift a written speech from various sources, altering it and practicing on it?

Well, all these are wrong ways of preparing, in fact, tougher ways of getting ready for a speech.

Preparation is the key.

If we fail to prepare…………we prepare to fail.

How do we prepare our presentations:

1) SPEECH IS BUILT

It reminds me of my college days, when I would see most of the students preparing for their examinations, by reading from various books on every single topic. Reading, writing and listening the whole year for just three hours of examination.

I also remember reading an article on Sachin Tendulkar, which mentioned a hypothetical figure that Sachin might have faced more than 60L balls since childhood. Today, his one successful square cut is the result of those 60L balls he faced during net practice and tournaments.

Similarly, a speech or your presentation cannot be cooked up in five minutes. It is built over a period of time and it grows with time.

“Rome was not built in a day.” Similarly, your public speaking skills or your presentation skills cannot develop in a single day.

2) DON’T IMMITATE OTHERS

Like this article that I am writing, this is my article, my thoughts and my ideas, similarly when you are preparing your speech or presentation, the thoughts and words must be yours and not someone else’s. You must gather background information and an overview of your article. You may read, you may search on Google, you may phone a friend, you can use others’ ideas but just ideas, the words should be yours. Never imitate others. It should come from within. You cannot fake it. If you try to imitate others, you public speaking speech or your presentation may not be as natural as it could have been.

3) NEVER HESITATE IN DOING SOME LEG WORK

Many a times, I have experienced, when my students, just to save time, delegate someone else to search for an article. Participants join our public speaking and presentation skills course and choose the centre closest to their house. They want to save time wasted in commuting. They save time, efforts, energy but they waste their stick-to-it-iveness. Most profound speeches come from students who are not hesitant to travel from distant places or who take the pains in searching for the ideas for their speech. I remember one of our public speaking and personality development course student in 2004, she hailed from a small city Mandi, Govindgarh in Punjab about 300km away from Delhi. For every session, she took a bus the previous evening, and went to her guardian’s home as she was not allowed to venture out after 7pm from her college hostel. From Chandigarh, she took a bus at 2am, reach Delhi, again, and change a couple of buses to reach our institute, in time for the 8am class. She bagged many awards and certificates, during the course. Till my last information, she was working in an MNC drawing a package of more than 15L. Determination and perseverance are omnipotent.

4) SLEEP WITH THE TOPIC; AWAKE WITH THE TOPIC

It means thinking, brooding, recalling, polishing your ideas of the public speaking topic or the presentation. Talk with your friends, your spouse and your family members. Brainstorm your ideas with them. There are many web based tools around these days that can help you in coming up with the content. It must develop and it must take time. This would add to your presentation skills.

5) WRITE 100 DISCARD 95

Now, you have a lot of material with you, lots of ideas. You have to decide, which is the best of all? Retain the best ideas and discard the rest. Don’t keep those which are good, but difficult to speak on. Keep those points that convince you and are easy for you to talk upon.

6) SMALLER IS BETTER, NEVER CONFUSE WITH LOADS OF STUFF

What is the use of speaking non-stop without having any in-depth meaning? Select only four-five points out of 20 but the best four-five points.

“Be sincere; be brief; be seated”.  –Franklin D. Roosevelt, on speechmaking

You should be remembered for small talk instead of confusing your audience with 10-15 points.

7) Using Props and Visual Aids

If I ask you to visualize Christianity and a Cross, what is easier to visualize? Yes! The answer is CROSS.

Why don’t we use the same horse sense while preparing speeches? Use pictures, movies, objects, music etc in public speaking or presentations to make your point easy to understand. Audience forget your speech soon but the props would not let them forget it. This is called DOI, Demonstration Of Ideas.

Use these props only to further help your message; it should not become the message. Speaking with a prop is not only effective but also easy. Many times, I see my students in Presentation Skills Workshop, when given an assignment using DOI, use the prop extensively but do not let it go into the depth of the message.

8)  ORGANIZE YOUR SPEECH

You have tens of ideas with you. And you have discarded the unwanted. But how to organize the remaining ideas for the best impact on audience in your public speaking project? This topic can’t be explained in one paragraph. Please read my article on HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR SPEECH that will be posted soon.

In a nutshell, I would say, the middle body of the speech must have a pattern like chronological, casual, problem-solution, advantage-disadvantage etc. Point A must take you to point B, point B must take your talk to point C, so on and so forth. This transition must be smooth.

9) PRACTICE YOUR SPEECH

Now that you have prepared your speech, practice as much as you can. I remember watching an interview, 25yrs ago, by Tabbasum with the Nightingale of India, Lata Mangeshker where Lata said she practiced (riyaaz) singing even at the peak of her career for four to five hours every day.

Or let’s take the example of Indian Cricket team. Recently, the world champion Team-India lost badly to Australia and everyone blamed them for not practicing at the nets.

Need I say more on the importance of practising your speech!

The author Anurag Aggarwal is a public speaker and a trainer on Public Speaking, Presentation Skills and Personality Development at Anurag Aggarwal Institute of Public Speaking for over 13 years and has conducted over three thousand workshops, trainings and seminars so far.

For more details on the course, contact us at +91-9971776852.

PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT: How to Manage Stress

Stress Management by Anurag AggarwalIn this ever changing and always challenging world almost everyone is finding himself under stress. And no wonders that this stress is much more than ever before no matters what your occupation or level of seniority or salary may be. Most of the times, we feel that our mind is not in our control. We have no time to relax our self. And because of this excessive stress we also hamper our efficiency. This stress plays the role of a barrier in our productivity. Stress reduces our health mentally, physically and emotionally. We are taken back in our personality development due to this stress. The main cause of heart diseases and many other diseases is stress.

“Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they’ve started.” -David Allen

With time management, anger management and self management, stress management is also an important component of personality development. Stress at work has become such a common feature of all the jobs that one cannot find such job that is stress-free. It is therefore utmost important to find out ways and strategies so as to reduce stress at work thus showing improvement in your productivity and making yourself more efficient, controlled, joyous and a cheerful person. Stress has an impact on the quality of your interaction with others as it harms your communication skills. The more you have the capability to manage stress, the better you would spread positive energy around you.

Here are some quick tips to manage stress at work:

1.    A “GOOD MORNING” SHOULD ACTUALLY BE GOOD. If you start your day healthily without any hassles, you can be assured to be able to reduce your stress. But screaming at someone or the other for not doing the work properly at home, dodging the traffic, cribbing about your city roads and people would surely make you stress right from the morning itself. So start your day with eating or drinking something healthy, looking to the positive sides of things and keeping your plans for the day well in your mind.

2.    ACCEPT THAT EVERYTHING CANNOT BE PERFECT. We realize that everyone happens to commit mistake some time or the other, but we are never ready to accept that how something can be imperfect. Efforts on attaining a cent percent perfect decision, project or situation is just inviting stress to you. You just have to make sure that you and other people related to you give the best so that no one can question.

3.    KEEP THE SURROUNDING CLEAN. Another reason for stress is working at a place that is messed up, unorganized and unmanaged. So the first thing you must do when you reach your work place is cleaning up your desk. Arrange it the way you would be using it. Schedule your day, make a to-do list, note down the meetings to be attended and put them on your desk.

4.    TALK IT OUT. If at any time you feel over-stressed, share your feeling and thoughts with others. Talking your heart out to someone works wonders. Talking over a problem with someone can be very supportive as the other person is able to empathize. For this make many friends at your workplace. Listen to them and help them also when they are in need.

5.    THINK POSITIVE. One who always looks at the negative side of everything finds himself drained of energy, motivation and personality. Keep yourself positive and try to be in the company of the people who are optimists. Do not let any negative thinking person get in the way your mind and give you stress.

6.    TAKE A BREAK. The moment you realize that your stress is mounting, take a break. Try to meditate or go for a small walk near the work place or indulge yourself in something not related to this work. This will help you to regain your mental balance and your stress will be reduced.

‘Anurag Aggarwal Institute of Public Speaking provides training in Public Speaking, Personality Development and Presentation Skills. In this course you will be trained in all those things which are stopping you from growing in your career. The best course in today’s life is “Public Speaking and Personality Development Course”. A lot of people have problems regarding their communication skills, interacting with people and in presenting themselves in front of public. Whether you are in IT industry, modelling, Aviation industry, or Media Industry this course has all those contents which are very useful in your day to day life.

For more details on the course, visit www.anuragaggarwal.com
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PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT- Qualities of a Leader

PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT- Qualities of a Leader

A leader does not necessarily mean a political leader, a manger or a CEO of the company. A leader can be any person to whom others look up to for suggestions or decisions or for general guidance.

It is generally said that leaders are born but I am of the opinion that leaders may be created also. Leadership is a personality trait that a person may possess right from the birth or develop with time under some personality development guidance or training. It is true that not every person can become a leader as there are many qualities that should be developed in a person to become a leader. Many of us have the leadership qualities but we may not be aware of them. We come across these qualities at some time in our life and it is then when we slowly recognize our leadership qualities.

To become a good leader, the following few qualities are a must:

  1. EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION SKILLS. Communication skill is one skill that will help you to gain co-operation and also to convey your goals, vision and decisions to all in most understandable manner. The ability to gain the cooperation and support of others through negotiation and influence depends directly upon communication skill. And all these things are most essential to become a leader. Active listening is also an essential part of communication. Unless you are a good listener you cannot have good communication skills. Hear more, speak less.
  2. ABILITY TO SOLVE THE PROBLEMS. The people choose a person to be their leader for he has the quality to listen to their problems, understand them and give them a solution. Listen to the problems carefully and then analyze them. They may not be as easy to solve as they seem to be or maybe they are not as difficult to handle as they look. A leader is the one who has solutions ready for the problem. Sometimes the solution may be the simplest thing to do but it may not click into the minds of all the people.
  3. ABILITY TO MOTIVATE. Having good communication skills also assist in motivating others. A good leader is one who apart from being self-motivated also has the ability to motivate others. Most of us know how well we can do just by a spark of motivation. Also, if the leader is motivated then half of the job of motivating others is already done. A leader should emphasize on developing the morale of the employees and setting example for them. Allow your team to be a part of planning and problem solving.
  1. HAVING A WIDE VISION. A leader should create the vision and should   inspire others to act in the direction of that vision. Your vision statement is a picture of the future. Your vision shows your attitude towards life, what you want to achieve in life and how far you want to go. Your vision tells you where you want to move thus making your directions clearer. Without a vision, you would be easily carried by others’ expectations.
  1. TAKING DECISIONS AND RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CONSEQUENCES. People are afraid of taking decisions because they are not ready for taking the responsibility of the upcoming consequences. Fear of consequences keeps them away from taking a decision. Leaders are confident of their ability and thus they do not mind taking decisions most of the times. Just remember that you may make a mistake while taking a decision but you should never give. You should rather learn from your mistakes and just go ahead.

Think of yourself as the captain of a ship; the fate of the ship is in your hands, and it’s up to you to steer everyone in the right direction. If at any time you are not sure of your decision then it’s better to walk out than being a not so good leader.

At ‘Anurag Aggarwal Institute of Public Speaking you are provided training in Public Speaking, Personality Development , Presentation Skills and Communication Skills. In this course you will be trained in all the above mentioned things and others that are needed to have outstanding communication skills. For more details on the course, visit www.anuragaggarwal.com

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PUBLIC SPEAKING: How to Use a Microphone

Use of Microphone in Public Speaking

In public speaking, microphone is an essential instrument. For a public speaker or a presenter, a microphone is a tool to strengthen your voice. It is not an alternative for good vocal expression. It is not capable of making a dull voice interesting. It can only make it louder.
When you are using a microphone, you still have to use your full energy to involve the whole audience and create your identity as a public speaker. Some speakers under pressure may lose expression in their voice. Rehearsing and practicing on microphone can be the best way to experiment with volume, pitch, and rhythm to achieve best possible expression. Use vocal variety to ensure that your audience understands and feels the tone of your message.

When you are getting training on public speaking and presentation skills, you cannot afford to miss the know-how of usage of microphone. Here are some tips on using a microphone:

  1. Avoid using a microphone in small gathering. They are usually required when you are addressing more than 100 people.
  2. Microphone can be used in small gathering of 35-50 people depending on the venue; the size of the room, its furniture, the carpet, curtains, height of the ceiling.
  3. If at any time you are confused whether you need the mike or not, go ahead and use it.  By doing so, you will have the set up and you would have the option to switch it off if you feel that it is not needed.
  4. Use a hand held whenever possible as you have more control over your voice while using them. Hold them below your mouth.
  5. Do a sound check. You may ask a technician to set up the sound system and actively control the levels while you speak. It should be seen that levels are appropriate for the size of the room and the audience. In some cases, a technician may set up the system and leave the rest to you. You would have to do the sound check yourself.
  6. Learn how the microphone works. You must know how to turn it on/off. This is necessary to avoid any private comment to be overheard by the audience.
  7. If there is a battery, start your public speaking topic or the presentation with a new battery and have an extra one handy.  You must know how to replace it.
  8. Practice with the microphone before you begin. Test it by saying some words.
  9. In public speaking, you need to stand with good posture. Enable your voice in the microphone by standing straight, aligning your head with your spine.
  10. Twisting or bending the neck gives your voice a disadvantage.
  11. When you are giving a demonstration of a product, you should use a clip-on/hands free microphone.
  12. Your dress is a primary concern when using a clip-on microphone. Wear something with a collar or tie so the mike can be easily clipped to it. A front open jacket or a blouse can do.
  13. Clip the clip-on onto your dress before you get on the stage.
  14. Lavaliere or clip-on mikes are generally placed 8 to 10 inches below the chin, in the center.
  15. Instead of looking at the microphone, look at the audience to catch their attention.
  16. Practice speaking and holding a mike at the same time while using a handheld microphone. Transfer the handheld mike from one hand to the other naturally.
  17. Grip the mike with the whole hand and not with just fingers so as to give it the best look.
  18. Watch the speakers before you on how well is their microphone projecting?  If you think there is something you can learn from them, then learn it.
  19. When it’s your chance to take the podium, you’ve already tested the mike so no need to tap on it or blow into it. Need not to say “Can you hear me?”.  Just begin your talk.
  20. When using a microphone, energize your voice but speak normally.  Don’t speak into the mike, speak past it.
  21. Crowding the microphone will disfigure your posture as well as your voice. Do not get too close to the mike.

In public speaking or in a presentation or in any kind of communication, your first and the foremost goal is to reach your audience. The speaking elements you put into your delivery have everything to do with reaching to that goal. But you must remember that the microphone is only a tool. It won’t turn a poor speech delivery or a presentation into a good one.

All the above techniques are taught and can be practiced in public speaking and presentation skills course offered by Anurag Aggarwal Institute of Public Speaking. In this course you will be trained in all those things which stop you from growing in your career. This is the best course for people having problems regarding their communication skills, presentation skills, interacting with people and in presenting themselves in front of public. For more details on the course, visit www.anuragaggarwal.com

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PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT: Anger Management Tips

PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT: Anger Management Tips

Anger is a natural emotion which is always followed by a feeling of emptiness. This is so because when you are angry, you lose out on your mind and so you are left vacuous.

“Anybody can become angry – that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody”s power and is not easy.” – Aristotle

Communication skills are the most important assets to have goodwill in the society and anger is something that prevents us from doing so. Anger is an obstacle in our personality development and deteriorates our personality. An angry person tends to lose his peace of mind and thus people want to avoid the person because of his uncomfortable presence. Anger is accompanied by many psychological changes as well. It leads to increased heart beat, rise in blood pressure which harms the body and thus personality development hampers.

Anger arises when you think that something is going off track, something is not in right place, something is not happening as per your wishes.

Anger is not the basic problem, but managing anger is the main issue we people face. Most of us do not know what steps should be taken while you are angry. If the problem of poor anger management perceives for a long time it may lead to domestic abuse, workplace violence, addiction to smoking, drugs etc. It may also lead to physical problems in the long run. An angry man also has a poor memory. Your anger lets you lose your mental balance.

To combat anger it is very important to understand the reason behind it. Then only you would be able to treat it in the right direction. We generally try to look out for things that give us pleasure and we get obsessive to grab it. We want to possess something we desire and this desire to possess is the root of anger (in most cases). Till the desire is fulfilled, anger supports our struggle. Anger may also arise on a small situation like hitting your foot against bed. At this point, you think why did I get that, where was I wrong, do I actually deserve being hurt? All the questions may start troubling your mind with a small thing of being hurt by the bed. In such situation, when you have the feeling of anger within you, you would either express it or suppress it.

Suppressing anger can surely help to a certain extent but when to try doing it again and again, whatever the situation may be, you may find yourself in a state of depression or you may have constant headache and other mental problems. By suppressing your anger you may think that your anger is under control but one day you would find that you would just burst in anger because you have been suppressing your anger for so long.

Anger must be expressed but it should be done in such a way that it gives a healthy result and resolves the problem.

TIPS FOR ANGER MANAGEMENT

1.  Before reacting to any situation in anger, take a few deep breaths and count backwards from 100 to 1. This would make you feel relieved of anger. You will feel relaxed mentally and physically. Also, you will get time to analyze the problem and find a solution to it.

2.  Shouting at family or friends, slamming the door would only ignite the anger even more. Move away from people or place that made you angry. Buy a punching bag, a stress bursting ball and make the best out of them.

3.  Avoid speaking with anyone when you are angry. Once you have calmed down, you can now express your feelings and concerns in an assertive way. At this point of time, you will not be hurting anyone. It’s better to remain quite in some situations and in others you must think before speaking. Involve yourself in the situation, collect your thoughts you want to express and say it in the right way so that you do not have to regret in future.

4.  Involve yourself in some physical activity. Go for a brisk walk, run or do some sport. Your energy would be utilized in this way and you would end up feeling happier and relaxed.

5.  Anger management is not a child’s play so do not hesitate to seek help from others on this matter. Look out for anger management classes, counselling, and workshops by professionals. It is better to ask for help from others rather than hurting people around you.

Anger adversely affects your public speaking skills, communication skills, presentation skills, personality development and not to forget, your health. Consequently, you must follow the above tips to manage your anger with affecting your public speaking, communication skills and personality development.

In the public speaking and personality development course offered by Anurag Aggarwal Institute of Public Speaking, you also get assistance on anger management. For course details, visit www.anuragaggarwal.com

PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT: Dress Code for an Interview

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Many Job Seekers are concerned with what to wear to a job interview and how to make a professional first impression. Does it really make a difference how you dress for an interview? In many cases, it does. Being called for an interview can prove to be a turning point in your life. But for this turning point you must be well prepared beforehand. This preparation includes thorough knowledge for the company and about yourself. This first that leaves an impression on the mind of the interviewer is your looks. You must pay attention on your dressing so as to be in the good books of the interviewer. It does make sense to dress your best for the interview, regardless of the dress code at the organization (although, if you are aware of the dress code of the organization, then dress as per the norms).

Here are some tips on how to dress up for an interview:

GENERAL: Basic hygiene is not something anyone should have to justify but when preparing for a job interview you must pay attention on the same.

  • Your nails are trimmed and neatly manicured.
  • Your hands should also be washed and unmarked.
  • Hair should be pulled back neatly.
  • If your hair is cut in a short style, get them trimmed (if need be) before going for the interview.
  • Put some good deodorant or perfume so as to smell good but do not overdo it. Someone may be allergic to it.
  • Keep your pockets empty. No bulges of wallet or mobile or tinkling coins.
  • Do not have any gum, candy or cigarettes.
  • Wear neat and clean, polished conservative shoes.
  • Do not show off your body piercing (nose rings, eyebrow rings, etc.).
  • Do not wear anything too tight that it makes you uncomfortable. INTERVIEW DRESS

FOR MEN

  • Wear dark coloured polished shoes, preferably black shoes with laces.
  • Socks should also be dark coloured, again preferably black or matching with the trousers.
  • Belt should also be matching with the trousers.
  • Solid color, conservative suit.
  • Bottom of the trousers should be 17.5″ to 18″
  • Wear silk tie with conservative pattern.
  • White full sleeves shirt which must be well ironed.
  • Avoid having a moustache and beard while going for an interview and if it is a must then it should be neatly trimmed.
  • Neat professional hair cut (should be short).
  • Use a good fragrance aftershave.
  • Jewelry should be bare minimum or no jewelry at all if possible.
  • Carry a brief case or a portfolio.

INTERVIEW DRESS FOR WOMEN

  • Wear a solid color suit with jacket.
  • Do not wear a dress for an interview.
  • Wear limited jewelry. Too much of it may be a negative point.
  • Make-up and perfume should be used but keep them minimum.
  • Wear shoes with moderate heels of 1” to 2”. No platform heels.
  • Wear only one pair of earrings.
  • Do not wear more than one ring in your hands.
  • Wear a sober colored nail polish.
  • Carry a brief case or portfolio instead of carrying a purse.
  • Have a neat professional hair style.

The dress you wear reflects your personality and thus it becomes a very important part of your personality. You may seek guidance from others for your personality development. Anurag Aggarwal Institute of Public Speaking offers you public speaking and personality development training. This public speaking and personality development course is held in Delhi (North, South, East, West and Cental), Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gurgaon and Noida. For more details, visit http://anuragaggarwal.com/courses.php

PUBLIC SPEAKING- Understanding Audience Behaviour

Understanding Audience Behaviour in Public Speaking

Can you recall to have listened to a presentation in which you had no difficulty paying attention? How often your mind got distracted? Was it because of the topic of the presentation or because of the way the public speaker presented it?

Audience plays a vital role in public speaking. In public speaking, we often have to give presentations before a large audience but many times we do not realize if the audience is even listening to us or not. The presentation may be about something interesting but due to certain mistakes made by the public speaker or the presenter, the audience may divert their mind. And certainly, the biggest mistake made by the speakers is that they do not realize how the audience listen.

It must be noted that the attention span of the audience behaviour is very short. The attendees of a presentation may be willing to listen to you, but they are the ones who also get easily distracted. If they start disliking your speech they will be deviated from the topic and will start talking to the other person or in some other way would not pay attention to your speech.  Give them the topic of their interest. Give them what they want to listen, what they would be interested in. Or even if you select a topic of your choice, present it in such a way that they would want to hear.

Almost everyone listens in the beginning of a presentation, but by the time it reaches half, the attention may drop to around 10-20% of what it was at the start. Again at the end, many people start to listen again, particularly if you announce your conclusions, because they want to take something from the presentation. They also may try to bring out some conclusion from your talk too early when they disagree to your point or something. At this time they would want to reject you. Do not say anything which may bring out some conclusion to the audience by themselves.

Since the audience is most attentive in the beginning of the presentation, you must make sure to give the most important point in the beginning. If you want to get your message to get through the audience, you should state it loud and clear in the beginning and also repeat it at the end.

Do not make too much movement or do not use too many colours in your presentation as they are also a cause of distraction of mind.

It is also noted that most people do not have their opinion; rather they do what others want them to do or what others are doing. For instance, a person may not understand a joke but he would laugh aloud just because others are laughing.

Do not keep beating your own trumpet; the audience would not be eager enough to listen to you in this case. On the contrary, if you tell some negatives about you, they would surely listen to you.

There are also some people in the audience who want to show off their intelligence. Tactics must be learned to handle such people for continuing public speaking.

All in all, the best approach could be to divide your presentation in several parts, each ending by an intermediate conclusion. This would help the audience who got distracted to catch up with you, particularly if you outline the structure of your talk in the beginning.

Understanding this behaviour of the audience would surely be of great use to people in public speaking. This would help them to improve their public speaking skills.

At ‘Anurag Aggarwal Institute of Public Speaking you are provided training in Public Speaking, Personality Development and Presentation Skills. In this course you will be trained in all the above mentioned things and others that are needed to give an outstanding and memorable public speaking performance. For more details on the course, visit www.anuragaggarwal.com

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PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT- Different Types of Handshakes

PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT- Different Types of Handshakes

Every gesture we make, it tells something or the other about our personality. A handshake is also one of these gestures that depict your personality and attitude. Thus, it is important for our personality development that we should choose the right kind of hand shake. There are many opinions on what a hand shake can tell you about someone.

Some people are of the opinion that handshakes are done only the way we learn it and thus they do not give the true picture of the personality of a person. But then, if this is so, then why do we learn about the body language?

The point here is that handshakes do help in knowing the characteristics of a person.

Handshake forms the most important part of greeting a new person. People can judge a lot from handshakes. A handshake conveys power, confidence and professionalism. This little gesture provides major clues that can help you to identify the person whom you are communicating with. If you are unable to perform a perfect handshake, it may create undesirable impressions on the other person. Thus, it is very necessary to put the best hand forward and follow the etiquette of handshaking to be in the good books of the other person.

Here are some basic types of handshakes understanding which will help you to depict a good personality to others:

The Standard Hand Shake In this, hands are engaged and people maintain eye contact, exchange smiles and shake hands two to four times.

Palm Up This type of hand shake means “I am here to serve you”.

Palm Down This type of hand shake is an authoritative one. It shows an authoritative, superior or controlling personality of the person. It says that you are there to take the lead, to take care of things, to get the job done.

Arrogant Shake It is made intentionally to demoralize your sense of security. In this the person offers a flat hand with the palm facing down to indicate that he is the boss. The best way to answer such a hand shake is by giving a hand with palm facing upwards.

Hand in Hand The greeter will offer a hand with the palm facing up and before you both start shaking your hands, he would sandwich your hand with his other hand. This is sometimes done to show care or concern or familiarity or to empathize for the loss of a closed one. If this type of hand shake is done even when the two of you are not good friends, then this is a form of false sincerity.

Palm Vertical The person extends his hand forward with his palm exactly vertical to the ground. It sends a message of equality and greetings.

Finger Vice When somebody grabs just your fingers and not the entire hand it means he wants to maintain a distance. These people are often insecure.

Bone-Crushing Shake A person making a hard, stiff handshake pretends to break your fingers and tries to prove that he is stronger than you and wants to control you. The message of squeezing your hand clearly indicates that the person is trying to intimidate you. People who make such a handshake are confident, but they also have a tinge of aggressiveness in them. So just remember that while facing such people, smile broadly and offer a firm-handed shake.

Condolence Handshake The person will pretend to be too familiar to you by clasping your right hand or arm with an attempt to hug you. This behaviour may be accepted during a funeral, but it comes out as a inappropriate act otherwise.

Using Good Form

  1. Raise your hand and extend until webs of both hands meet. Grasp across the palm wrapping fingers around the opposite side from the thumb.
  2. Hold firmly.
  3. Shake a few times or for about three or four seconds.
  4. If your hands are full then give a polite nod rather than dropping everything. If the other person’s hands are full, be understanding and don’t offer a hand shake. Your gesture would be appreciated.
  5. If wearing gloves, remove them.
  6. Maintain eye contact while engaging in yourself in a handshake. This will surely communicate self confidence and sincerity.
  7. The pressure applied in a handshake is relative to the culture you are in. For example, in North America, a firm hand shake is appropriate. Making it stronger or weaker than a basic firm grasp will only leave a negative impression.

Choose the most appropriate handshake and remember these tips to prove your good personality. Help yourself in personality development.

The author Anurag Aggarwal is a public speaker and a trainer on Public Speaking, Presentation Skills and Personality Development at Anurag Aggarwal Institute of Public Speaking for nearly 13 years and has conducted over three thousand workshops, trainings and seminars so far.