Last week I made a speech about making a speech. I first asked the audience to raise their hands if they give speeches on a regular basis, how many do it occasionally, how many lead meetings, how many share their expertise with their colleagues and clients. As you can imagine more and more hands were raised until it was everyone in the room… because we all share our expertise with our colleagues and clients. So even though “giving a speech” may sound intimidating, most of us practice the basics each and every day. Speaking is a powerful tool for business development, and here are 7 key strategies to make you more effective (or help you get started!)
- Can you simply share? We do it everyday, but when we think of delivering a speech we elevate it to lofty academic pearls. Yes, there are times that would be appropriate but most of the time it can simply be the act of sharing what you know, as you do every single day.
- Is your message clear? Make sure your message is crystal clear. Get rid of acronyms and insider terms.
- Does your audience care about this topic? If not find a connection that will make them care or pick another topic. Just because you think they NEED to know about this topic doesn’t mean they care.
- Be a storyteller. Tell a compelling story that will resonate with your audience. This is the best way to be memorable.
- Repetition, repetition, repetition! Get in front of an audience again and again. The more you speak the better you’ll be, and the better you are the more fun you’ll have, and the more fun you are having, the more your audience will engage with you and your message!
- You can do it your way. There are many ways to be a successful speaker… so do it YOUR way. Do what feels comfortable, if you have a great sense of humor… use it.
- Strive to be real… not perfect! I’ve saved the most important for last. REAL trumps perfect every time. An audience wants to see you, not a performance.
Here is a great TED Talk by Joe Kowan, How I Beat Stage Fright, that will engage, inspire and make you laugh!