Some of the most basic requirements of the human being is to be loved, wanted, needed and appreciated; I think we would all agree with that. This is not so different for the speaker. Add to that the need to engage with your listeners, to capture their interest and compel them to listen.
How best to do this?
Not by telling them who you are, what your qualifications and experience have been. They will most likely know this from the information on promotional material they have already read. They will also know within two minutes flat whether you live up to what they heard about you. No!
Ask a question that is relevant to their needs. Then explain, in simple terms, how you and they would go about solving the question. I stress the words ” simple terms “. I think that it is very important that you come across in a conversational manner. If it appears like a lecture, with no enthusiasm and sincerity in it, just passing the information, then your listeners will switch off from you very quickly.
Another essential element is the silence; I have heard many speakers so beautifully rehearsed in their pitch that they don’t allow for pauses, which would allow the listener to take-in the information that they have just been given. Always remember that your audience is made up of people of different ages and abilities who really want to benefit from what you say, but take in the information at different speeds.
Unless you are a born comedian, don’t try to be funny; by all means retain humour in the speech, that is the oil that always engages the audience and drives the session, provided that it happens naturally.
Lastly, tell a story; audiences love a story, as long as it is relevant; something that may have happened to you in your earlier, struggling years that inspired and motivated you to carry on. Your audience will really appreciate this as it humanises you and makes them think, “Hey, he’s been where I am now !”
I hope that this helps get you started. To develop your public speaking skills and confidence further,you may wish to consider one-to-one public speaking and voice coaching training sessions. For more information on how I can help you please see the Public Speaking and Voice Coaching page.
Call Simon Gilbert on: 020 8360 7386
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