怎么樣克服演講中的緊張 - 英語口語學習方法

While nearly all men are poor at public speaking, women are even worse. This is partly because women cannot tell jokes, but also because we are better at self-awareness and therefore know that our speech is average and the audience would rather be doing something else – thoughts that do little to enhance performance.

盡管幾乎所有的男性都很不擅長公開演講,但女性在這方面表現更差。部分原因在于女性不會講笑話,但另一個原因是我們更有自知之明,因此清楚我們的演講很一般,聽眾寧愿做點其它事情——這種念頭對提高演講表現可沒什么幫助。

To combat fear and innate hopelessness, I try quite hard to be better. Every time a book about public speaking arrives on my desk, I skim it for tips. Mostly they tell you to “relax” and to “be yourself” – which is downright irresponsible. This works only for the one in a billion who is born a brilliant speaker. For everyone else, being good means reaching such an elevated level of nervousness and artifice that you can present an entirely convincing picture of authenticity and relaxation.

為了克服恐懼和與生俱來的絕望情緒,我相當努力,爭取表現得更好。每收到一本有關公開演講的書,我都會瀏覽一遍,尋找竅門。它們多半會告訴你,要“放松”,“做你自己”——這是完全不負責任的說法。這只對那些億萬里挑一、天生具有演講才華的人有用。對于普通人而言,當你的緊張程度和掩飾技巧達到一種很高的層次,令人完全相信你很真實也很放松時,那就是好的表現。

The most recent book, The Top 100, contains tips from the 100 best speakers of all time and tells us that Bill Clinton"s secret weapon is to “inspire confidence” and Gandhi"s was to “avoid ego”. This may be true but is not terribly helpful. It is like watching a video of Rudolf Nureyev being the black swan and then expecting to be able to twirl round the living room in a similar fashion yourself.

最新的一本書《The Top 100》囊括了有史以來100位最出色演講者提供的小竅門。這本書告訴我們,比爾•克林頓(Bill Clinton)的秘密武器是“鼓舞信心”,而圣雄甘地(Gandhi)則是“避免自負”。這可能不錯,但并沒有太大幫助。這就像觀看魯道夫•紐瑞耶夫(Rudolf Nureyev,已故蘇聯芭蕾舞大師——譯者注)扮演黑天鵝的視頻,然后就期望自己也能以同樣的方式在客廳旋轉一樣。

I have only come across two bits of helpful advice. The first is practise, practise, practise. This is a bore because it takes a lot of time, but there is no way round it. The second is to junk all aids. PowerPoint is a crutch. It is an ugly thing in itself and must be thrown away if you want to walk smoothly. Equally, you must never read a speech. Write it, learn it and then leave it at home, speaking with minimal notes.

我只遇到過兩條有用的建議。第一條是:練習!練習!練習!這很容易讓人厭煩,因為它會占用大量時間,但你是毫無捷徑可走的。第二條是丟掉所有的輔助用具。PowerPoint就是一根拐杖,本身就很令人討厭。如果你想順當地走路,就必須丟掉拐杖。同樣,你決不能照稿讀。自己動手寫,背熟,把稿子留在家里,演講時僅帶盡可能少的提示。

I supplement these with two further tips of my own, neither of which requires effort. The first is to make sure that the person speaking before you is really boring and has a laptop full of overcomplicated, PowerPoint slides. The second is to pick the right audience. Once, I gave an after dinner speech to middle managers in HR from the north of England. I had done a great deal of rehearsing and failed to sleep the night before and taken beta-blockers and so was all set and keyed up to the perfect pitch. The fact that the speech was catastrophic (not one laugh) made me feel bad for several weeks afterwards. But I now see it was the audience"s fault. They were never going to like a snotty Londoner being superior about management fads anyway.

對此,我又補充了兩點自己的建議,它們都不需費多大勁。第一條是確保在你之前發言的那個人很乏味,還帶著一臺筆記本電腦,里面裝滿過于復雜的幻燈片。第二條是選擇正確的聽眾。有一次,我為來自英格蘭北部的中層人力資源經理們做一個餐后演講。我排練了許多遍,頭一天晚上都沒睡著覺,還服用了β-受體阻滯劑(一種降血壓藥——譯者注),因此一切準備就緒,狀態調整到最佳水平。而事實是,那次演講是一場災難,沒有一個人笑,這讓我在隨后的好幾周內都情緒低落。但現在我意識到,這是聽眾的錯。這些人無論如何都不會喜歡一個自以為對管理技巧很懂行的傲慢倫敦人。

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