Share your expertise
Share your professional value with your audience. It’ll allow you to become the expert people want to buy from.
You must speak up and subtly promote what you offer to be recognized as a leader in your industry.
Instead of being all braggy about your experience, offer others a taste of it in a way that helps them become more knowledgeable and allows your audience to trust you.
You raise awareness of your abilities and know-how in particular fields by imparting your expertise and assisting others in finding solutions to difficulties. This helps people recognize you as an authority in your field.
Demonstrating your experience enhances your own brand and bottom line.
Here are some public speaking tips to help you through your marketing journey with speaking in public or public presentations that have worked for me and will work for you!
10 Effective strategies for delivering impactful public speeches:
First things first.
Know who your audience is going to be. Find out a little bit more about them. What is it that they’re most interested in hearing from you?
Research in advance. Before the meeting or event, speak to its organizer or sponsor and find out the level of knowledge the participants have on the topic for discussion. If you can get a list of attendees in advance, connect with them on LinkedIn or other social media channels to see what types of content they post and comment on. Find out what current events they care about, to whom they may be mutually connected, or who they might be influenced by and why.
Audience analysis involves identifying and adapting a speech to their interests, level of understanding, attitudes, and beliefs. Knowing them helps determine what content and messages people care about. Once you have an idea of what to say, knowing them also tells you the appropriate tone, language, and voice for your message. Learn about what might be offensive or a hot or emerging topic, an industry event or challenge, or an anomaly in the industry. Use your research to your advantage, especially when incorporating wit or humor into your presentation.
Practice and prepare.
As a public speaker, be able to have your presentations ready to go. Make sure you’re there ahead of time to set everything up, so you don’t have any tech problems with a live audience.
Preparing for a presentation can help you feel more confident and improve your chances of a successful presentation, removing some of the aspects of a presentation that can lead to nervousness and public speaking anxiety. While it’s key to know how to deliver a presentation and have a good speech, you must also know how to prepare for one. Taking the time to prepare for your presentation can help calm your nerves and allow your presentation to run more smoothly. If you get derailed or driven off-topic by someone’s comments, the good news is you can recall all of your preparation to bring you back to the center of your presentation.
Another vital component to practicing and being fully prepared for your presentation ahead of time can help give you added confidence on the day of your presentation. Rehearse your presentation early and as often as you can. Consider presenting to your family and friends and asking them for feedback, be mindful of who you take that feedback from, and don’t get discouraged. Feedback is a gift! Use it wisely where it makes the most sense and gives you the most impactful adjustments to your presentation as needed.
Other reasons to show up early on the day of your speech include finding out the answers to questions like: Does the venue have the equipment I need? What type of mic is available for me to use? Will my clicker work? Is there a place to put a bottle of water on stage? Will everyone everywhere in the room be able to hear me? What does the stage look like, will my outfit clash with the stage or should I use an alternate outfit? What’s the atmosphere or vibe like here? How is the seating arranged? Are there any time-slot changes, do I have more or less time to present or the same time I was originally given? And any other questions that may come up! Answering these questions can help you easily overcome any common fear you may have, to be in the venue and visualize yourself, rehearse if on stage with the mic setup you’ll be using prior to the actual performance.
Take some alone time before your presentation, so you don’t let your anxiety get the better of you. To aid in helping you regain your composure, take a few deep breaths. You can feel more at ease and have the confidence you need to deliver a compelling presentation by investing even a short amount of time. For one of my speaking engagements, when I was about to present a 15-minute talk, it was two days after my grandpa, who was like a father to me, passed away from the wretched Alzheimer’s disease. I knew I would have difficulty getting through my presentation because there was a moment in my speech when I would tell a short story about my beloved Papa. I had to prepare myself and keep myself calm mentally and physically. One of the other speakers for this event shared a technique that helped me greatly, and I want to share this with you as a way to keep your anxiety and nerves in check. Tapping on your chest firmly with your fingertips below your collarbone, near your heart repeatedly, can give you a sense of calm and empowerment.
I also want to share that although there may not be scientific proof that a power pose will change your outcomes, I think having the right mindset and believing it can help you will cause you to help yourself! Standing in front of a mirror with a power pose (sometimes called the Wonder Women pose), with your feet at a wide stance, hands on your hips, chest out, and chin up, all this can increase your mental strength and take in those deep breaths and doing a few stretches with your arms over your head then down to your toes a couple of times to get a little movement to your body before you go on stage. This will give you some great extra oxygen to your brain and a confidence boost you’ll want. Don’t overdo it and get all sweaty from your stretches, though, do it just enough to get you pumped up and ready to perform! Speaking of sweat, have a tissue or a handkerchief handy if your palms sweat, forehead, upper lip area, or anywhere else you might perspire. It’s perfectly natural for a bit of perspiration! Don’t sweat the small stuff, they say, but if you do, be prepared for it, and just before you go on stage, use your handkerchief and know you will do great!
Share what they are going to learn from you.
Tell them, then show them, share, remind them and, of course, be sure to do what you say you’re gunna to do! They want to know upfront what skills, techniques, or tactics they will learn from you. Therefore, feel free to discuss in detail what you’ll cover and how long it will take you to complete it. They will be prepared and won’t be caught off guard in this way, especially if you are what is holding them from food or an open bar networking reception!
When you can convince the world of your authenticity with your words alone, you are not just a better orator but a better communicator with the ability to play many roles. As a speaker, the art of persuasion helps your audience relate to you so they understand and agree with your viewpoint.
Learning to persuade, convince, or speak to sell your innovative ideas while delivering a speech is an invaluable skill that helps you excel not only in your industry but with your peers, community, or employees.
The origins of modern public speaking can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome. Back then they called it “rhetoric.” Of course, those societies didn’t have slideshows to help with public speech. But they did need to speak in public. As a result, they developed public speaking methods that are still studied today. The ancient Greeks used public speech primarily to praise or persuade others. At one point, all Greek citizens had the right to suggest or oppose laws during their assemblies. This resulted in a need for skilled public speakers. Speaking in public became a desirable skill, and was taught to always combine, to varying degrees, three things: reasoning, credentials, and emotion, which he called Logos, Ethos, and Pathos. Aristotle’s work became essential to a liberal arts education during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Although there is evidence of public speech training in ancient Egypt, the first known piece on oratory, written over 2,000 years ago, came from ancient Greece.
Ask for participation.
Engage them, ask those questions that win your audience’s attention and allow them to converse with you. Of course, give them a time frame to stick to and say something like, “in 30 seconds, can you tell me your answer to…” whatever it is that you’re asking. That way, they will not ramble on forever and take all your precious stage time away from you.
Having that two-way communication street helps engage them and keeps them interested. And if they are aware they will be questioned, they will pay attention to avoid being called upon and adopt a “deer in the headlights” expression.
You can also redirect if someone needs time to explain it; after your presentation, you may talk to them and share. You can say, “Oh, it sounds like a discussion we can have afterward. I can delve a little deeper, or perhaps we can meet for coffee or cocktails to discuss it further.” Or, say, “in the interest of time, let’s table this for now, and I’d love to learn more about your specific scenario after my stage time is up.”
Again, in this way, they aren’t robbing you of all the valuable time you have on stage.
Personalize your presentation.
Tell stories, and share some examples or case studies that exemplify your expertise. Then talk about all the past events you’ve had that helped demonstrate your knowledge.
A key component of presentation is storytelling. Ideally, these should be relatable so your audience can picture themselves in a similar circumstance. Painting a virtual picture or sharing a story about what occurred to you, what you went through, or how you got to the “why” behind your topic and the journey you took to get there enhances trust, having a little bit of vulnerability and admitting your errors or challenges and how you overcame or persevered shows your humanity and authenticity. When used effectively, stories help your audience relate to you and the concepts and ideas you’re discussing. Don’t be afraid, as I’m sure some audience members might offer an insightful critique of your presentation, which is okay! Use that to your advantage! Remember, feedback is a gift!
Another persuasive technique for public speaking is telling short anecdotes or lessons learned about your personal experiences. You can be confident that your influence has been felt by your audience as long as you can relate your tale in a way that is captivating, surprising, moving, proactive, or hilarious. These stories often don’t take more than a few minutes, preferably much less, and help your audience comprehend what you’re attempting to convey while entertaining them. As an example of a short anecdote, we can all probably recall the short anecdote of George Washington and his father’s cherry tree; it’s told to show Washington’s honesty as a character trait. Young George, six years old at the time, bravely said, “I cannot tell a lie… I did cut it with my hatchet.” His father embraced young George and rejoiced that his son’s honesty was worth more than a thousand trees.*
Tell a tale by presenting evidence to support your claims, emphasizing your main point and the audience’s key takeaways. Additionally, it is crucial to strategically place your anecdote in your speech because that will significantly affect its goal and efficacy. When used effectively, an anecdote can introduce different topics, make them accessible to your audience, reaffirm the point, and ultimately help your audience remember your message or idea.
Tonality and personality.
Projecting your voice, utilizing humor when appropriate, employing those pregnant pauses for added emphasis, and repeating a quotable moment are all good techniques.
Repeat a crucial time to drive home a point. Repeat that so that your listeners will hear, understand, and even tweet about it while using the hashtag you supply and your shared hashtag when they quote you. It bears repeating again when it’s a quotable moment!
Your voice needs to change. When you’re enthusiastic and passionate about the subject, use vibrato; when you want to arouse feelings of empathy and compassion, do the exact opposite. Consider how you can use your personality and voice tone to truly ensure that people understand what you are trying to convey. Try not to use the exact same cadence and tonality for every line of speech you deliver; change it up to avoid a drone, monotone, and dry speech, and do what you can to keep it engaging and impressionable. When preparing, you can do activities such as reading a book aloud to help you practice inflections and emphasize critical points. Watch lively preachers share a sermon, great Ted Talks speakers, or well-played presenters you idolize, and see how they capture their audience’s attention with their voice, facial expressions, body movements, hand gestures, and blocking or where they stand or move on stage. To get a main key point across, I will move or lean into the audience, make full eye contact, open my arms, and increase my intensity, raise my voice in such a way that commands attention and gives the impression I’m saying something they need to listen to, again, I may even repeat the words, so they don’t miss what I had to say!
Another actionable persuasion process to incorporate into public speaking skills is to leverage emotive language in your speech. Use phrases and words that focus on your audience’s emotions. Emotional triggers can be experiences, events, or memories that spark an intense reaction emotionally. Using these also helps you gain a connection with, engage, and hook your audience to your speech and the message you are conveying.
Therefore, building your speech’s material around emotion is a powerful way to convince your audience. However, it is important to ensure that you don’t confuse an emotional appeal with manipulation.
You’re there to speak as a speaker, not read from your slides.
Instead, stick to the outline – make sure your slides contain five words or phrases at most; they should serve as visual assistance to reinforce your spoken points.
Good delivery does not call attention to itself, but instead conveys the speaker’s ideas clearly and without distraction. You’re not there to read a novel, are you? If your audience is merely attempting to read all that is on a slide, it will distract them. They will not hear you because they are too busy reading your slides. Again, you aren’t just there to read from your slides. And when attendees are forced to read the slides, they won’t pay attention to what you have to say.
Keep in mind that the slides are only intended to serve as visual assistance to assist you in continuing with your subjects and having that structure to follow. Images can speak a thousand words; use images to aid in what you are saying! The images are there to help you paint that picture of what you want your audience to envision with you. You can also incorporate relevant pre-produced video clips to showcase a particular point and provide information, context, or an emotion you want the audience to feel.
You can be more authentic because you won’t need to stack your slide deck and show too many words on a screen when you can adequately discuss and tell such stories instead.
One technique I learned from one of my mentors and speaking coaches, Dave Lahkoni, was about how to memorize the order in which things would need to be presented because we do not always get to have our slides; if a tech issue occurs, you still need to be able to deliver your presentation without relying on slides! I’ve adopted this technique the way it works for me, but you can play around with this concept and use it to your advantage. For each section of my presentation, I had a written cue on a sticky note attached to a particular item representing something about that section that triggered my brain to know what was next. I displayed each of those items in front of me in the order in which each section was to occur; pretty soon, I took away the sticky notes and only had the items to rely on. I could easily recall the objects and the order in which I had them all laid out on my desk in my home office in the precise order in which they were displayed. When it came time to deliver my speech, I could remember how the items were displayed, and each item had meaning. I could keep the order of my presentation in check, and if I ever got out of order or derailed, I could go back to my visualization and get right back on track.
Close with a dynamic and memorable ending.
An otherwise good performance and presentation can be entirely destroyed by a poorly delivered closing statement of a speaker.
Because of this, speakers need to analyze their findings carefully. There are numerous good possibilities for creating a presentation’s ending whether for short presentations or long presentations you still need a great ending! The presenter, the subject, and the audience will influence the best option.
Keep in mind to echo the core message and summarize the key points. Choose three or four points from the presentation and reiterate them. Remind your audience you delivered on your promises and did what you said you were gunna do!
End your presentation with a solid call to action or the next steps you want your audience to take away from your presentation. And how they can follow up with you and your team, your cause, or whatever sense you want them to do. But answer, what is next for them? And why? Tell them what you intend for them to do next because they have listened to you! This is their reward for engaging and participating with you. Most people have an intrinsic value to want to be rewarded. They want to walk away feeling as though they gained value, and knowledge, that they have a way to solve a problem, improve a process or have motivation or inspiration to DO something or feel something after having spent their time listening to your presentation.
Use QR codes, surveys, and handouts.
Plan to stay after your presentation to meet and greet and get appointments set.
A booking calendar link is helpful because you can make it quick and easy. I have a QR code on the back of my business card that links directly to my booking calendar so people can get complimentary 15-minute time slots with me one-on-one, and then we can see if there’s more we can do for them in the future.
QR codes encourage networking and sharing during or after your presentation. You can send viewers directly to your LinkedIn page or connect a mobile device to the “Like” button on your Facebook page or group. You can send them to a survey or a quiz to complete and capture testimonials or audience sentiments following your presentation.
Connecting and talking to your clients on social media allows you to build a relationship with them and increases the likelihood that they will promote your brand. As a B2B firm, you’ll find that word-of-mouth advertising frequently generates most of your revenue; these tactics can help you accelerate “Word of Mouth” or as I like to call it, “World of Mouth” advertising.
Remember, Practice makes progress.
My grandma used to say practice makes perfect, but I’m saying practice makes progress!
Fear of public speaking is frequently listed as one of the top fears in studies published throughout the years, right behind the fear of dying.
For most people who concur, how often have you thought about taking specific steps to enhance your public speaking but never quite followed through? Ask yourself now, “Why not?”
Equip yourself with basic elements and knowledge of the principles necessary for formal public speaking, emphasizing organization, evidence, language use, strategy, delivery, ethics, and effective use of videos and other media aids.
Because they understand that communication is about inspiration and connection, some of the finest leaders are also the best at giving speeches, as you can see by looking around. They can disrupt, connect, and inspire their audiences.
Effective communication skills enable a leader to relate to the interests and goals of the workforce, and it is precisely because of this that the team respects and is inspired to work for their leader. It can take time to build your reputation, personal brand and perfecting your leadership and public speaking skills. Again, practice makes progress! And again, public speaking practice make progress!
Developing your in demand skills such as public speaking can put you at a big advantage in your career, leading to opportunities that others may avoid.
Public speaking offers one of the most effective ways to get your point across, demonstrate your knowledge, and influence others. It can help you stay organized and improve your writing and interpersonal communication.
By incorporating several public speaking tips into your daily life, you can steadily improve your skills, become more comfortable giving presentations and speeches, and become a better public speaker! Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable can enable you to further your authority, authenticity, and trust with your target audience. These best practices include watching your body language, studying what works well for talented public speakers, practicing breath control, and preparing well in advance of your presentation. Want help designing your slides, crafting a compelling presentation video, building a speaker landing page, producing a speaker’s demo reel like mine, or gaining and promoting your presentation opportunities? Maybe you want your public speaking presentation recorded for future promotional purposes or to use the video to help you improve your public speaking skills, continue to practice and make progress. When we record your public speech and you watch it back, you may notice that you do things you didn’t even realize. This provides the opportunity to correct these issues before being in front of a live audience again. Our talented team at Peppershock Media can help you with your public speaking and marketing journey! Contact us to book your 15-minute consultation to get started today! www.peppershock.com
For more on Public Speaking here is a podcast episode Rhea shares her Marketing Essentials Moment and talks about public speaking as a method to help you build your brand and your bottom line and then has a great interview on the show, “Analyzing the Trends in Digital Marketing with Peter Shafer — episode 148”
*Mason Locke Weems, The Life of Washington the Great (Augusta, GA: George P. Randolph, 1806), 8-9.