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Profile of Alexxander
Since I am developing my first stage act at the moment, I thought it might be a good idea to practice stage presence by doing public speeches without doing any mentalism first.
My university has a anniversary party coming up next week with speeches and several musical and theatrical acts and I am going to moderate between the acts and do a speech at the end where I thank all the people involved etc. There will be around 200 people.

Any tips on this kind of work?
Can you recommend books on public speaking and stage presence in general?
I already read "Maximum Entertainment" by Ken Weber, which is fantastic.
M Sini
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I'm not sure where you are located but check into Toast Masters. They are a public speaking organization with tons of meeting locations where you can gain a ton of information and experience.
George Hunter
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For 23 or 24 centuries, "rhetoricians" have been studying effective public speaking. Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Quintilian, Augustine, and many other luminaries have contributed to the study of the art of public speaking, performance, and communication. You are beginning to explore a very interesting field of knowledge.

A good text to begin with is any edition of Corbett's Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student--which addresses the field's classic "canons" of Invention, Disposition, and Style very clearly and thoroughly. Texts in Performance Studies address the canons of Memory and Delivery very well, as well as several texts in magic like Ortiz' Strong Magic and Weber's Maximum Entertainment.

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I recommend You Can Be A Wedding MC by Peter Miller. Although it's written in the context of Weddings, there are some incredibly salient points that have guided me in emceeing. In particular, it discusses the difference between emceeing and compering, and provides checklists of what to prepare, what to do when you arrive, and how to make sure that everything is flowing behind the scenes, rather than just focusing on what you say between the acts. I believe he also has a guide on corporate MC work. If you click that link, you can search the site - some of the books are available as PDFs, I believe. Can't recommend it enough.
Connor Jacobs - The Thought Sculptor
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Doc Ben
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Watch a few of the most popular "TED Talks" by almost any of the most viewed speakers....and you will see a variety of mostly excellent speakers, with a variety of styles, yet effective and well received by the live audiences. Smile
"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain" (the original F. Baum)
Jamie D
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One book I always recommend is: Give Your Speech, Change the World: How To Move Your Audience to Action
Nick Morgan. This book is one of the best pieces of literature I have ever read as a performer. I honestly put it up there with my Scryer/Cassidy books as it's been that helpfull.
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My book Public Speaking: The Essential Guide is available here for download, and as a paperback:

That, or any of the other numerous guide books to public speaking, will help. Beyond that, there is no better training that your local Toastmasters International public speaking club. And it will be great fun as well.
George Hunter
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Be somewhat discriminating in what you read; check the reviews before you spend your money and time. Many books mostly feature obvious insights (like "Have eye contact with your audience") or commonplace folk wisdom (like "Be sincere"). As with books in magic, there are more redundant, unnecessary, or bad books than there are good books. For example, the new book out that interprets why the best TED talks are effective promises much more insight than it delivers.

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What you need most at this point is real practice with real people and real feedback. Toastmasters will provide you with that. Other good sources where you will get hands-on experience are community college and adult ed Public Speaking courses. They usually are quite inexpensive.
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