Public Speaking Tips for Business People
People who listen to a great public speaker often refer to that person as a “natural.” While some people have a natural ability to know what the audience wants to hear, the majority of great speakers became skilled with practice. Professional speakers have had thousands of opportunities to try their skills in front of people. Learning from the professionals is another way to enhance your own skills.
1. Keep the end in sight
The best way to start the speech writing process is to have the end in mind. What is it you want to leave people with? What is the goal of the speech or presentation? How do you want to impact your audience with your speech? When you have a clear understanding of the outcome you want to achieve, you can be focused on that goal as you prepare.
2. Keep the message simple
You are an expert in your field, so there will be the tendency to give people much more information than they can digest. Your goal is to come up with a few simple points that support your message, and give just enough detail to make it relevant, understandable or entertaining. If you bury your audience in facts, figures and details, they will still be digging themselves out at the end of your presentation, and will have lost the message in all of the other information you gave them.
3. Know the space and the people
Know the audience and the room in which you’ll be speaking. There are times when you don’t get the chance to prepare. When you can, mingle with people as they walk in. Stroll through the room, taking note of the best and worst places to hear you. Take a mental poll of the mood of the crowd. The more you feel familiar with the people and the space, the more comfortable you’ll be during your presentation.
This is especially important for speakers who often present to busy people. For example, the current CEO of Ernst & Young, Mark Weinberger, was appointed as Assistant Secretary (Tax Policy) of the U.S. Treasury by President George W. Bush. His role was to help Congress understand the convoluted tax policy. Getting to know the people he would be speaking with and the venues in which he would present allowed CEO Mark Weinberger to explain this very complicated topic to a room full of very busy people. When the subject matter you’re speaking about is complicated, knowing your audience allows you to better convey your ideas effectively.
4. Tell a good story
Work on being a good storyteller. This is one way to connect with your audience. When you are able to share something that shows a little of your vulnerabilities, people will think, “Ah, he is one of us.” You can give the audience a lot of information, of which they may retain only a little. Or, you can make them remember how you made them feel by telling a story including personal challenges and accomplishments.
5. Project your message with your entire body
Body language is also “speaking” to the audience as much as the words you say. Match your body movements with the message you are delivering. Until you are comfortable with your own speaking style, have someone shoot a video of you presenting, and watch yourself. The best advice is to be and act naturally. Forced body expressions are always noticed.
Watch some of the great speakers, and notice the ease with which they get an important message across to the audience. They, too, had to learn these tips, and watch other speakers in order to create their own unique speaking style. Consider joining a public speaking organization, such as Toastmasters International, to improve on your skills.
What public speaking tips to you have? Share them in the comments.
About Yoon Cannon: Top business coach Yoon Cannon has helped thousands of small business owners, entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants and sales teams achieve dramatic results in growing your business. Over the past 20 years Yoon has started 4 successful companies and sold 3 of them. She offers fresh insights as a seasoned business growth expert. Yoon delivers proven process for your sales, marketing and management development. Grab free valuable gifts and resources at http://www.ParamountBusinessCoach.com To book Yoon to speak at your next event email: YoonCannon@ParamountBusinessCoach.com To schedule a complimentary business coaching consultation call (215) 292-4947.
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