Public speaking is generally about as popular as emergency dental work, but it’s a very rare career that doesn’t require a person to speak in public at some point. Most of us speak in public more frequently than we think. We present at company meetings, meet with vendors and pitch ideas to executives. Just because your audience is small, doesn’t mean it’s not important.
Speaking in public doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Most people need to work at it. We support our clients to make sure they are prepared to speak to the media, a town hall or a large conference. Here are a few tips to help you deliver a great speech.
For us, every speech or presentation begins on the page. If you’re unsure what to say or how to begin a speech, then take a moment to remind yourself of the basics.
- Who is your audience? How can I make my topic relate to their self interest?
- What outcomes am I looking for? What key pieces of information do I want my audience to know for sure?
- What are my key messages? How can I make those messages entertaining and memorable? Can I use humour or an anecdote? Is there a stunning statistic that will prove a point?
The more you think about these things, the more likely an outline for your speech will begin to appear. A good beginning is vital. Pick an element that will pique your audience’s attention.
Writing a speech is only the start. You’ll only reach greatness if you practice. It’s a truism that the speakers who appear the most poised and confident are always the ones who have rehearsed the most. I also like how PR Daily put it here: public speaking isn’t about perfection, it’s about connection. Work hard to connect with your audience and you’ll reap the benefits.
If you’re looking to improve your public speaking, we recommend joining Toastmasters. There’s bound to be a chapter near you where you can hone your speaking and leadership skills. And if you don’t have time for that, but still need to deliver a great event with killer speeches, give us a call.