Speaking is one of the most critical assets to getting yourself, your company, and your ideas into the marketplace. The more persuasive and effective your speaking skills are, the more effective you will be at selling your product or idea. This applies not just to speaking in front of thousands of people, but also for when you are speaking to just one customer. Here are seven tips I have learned over 30 years of speaking to audiences all over the world that I guarantee will make a difference for you
1) Own the Stage- When you take the stage own it and project yourself to everyone in the room not just the front few rows. Assume the position as the authority on the subject you are using. Rather than moving around a lot plant both your feet firmly and present from one point to give a sign of assurance and confidence.
2) Big Claims- Open your presentation with big claims to get the audience’s full attention from the beginning. Get attention early.
3) Inspire, Don’t Preach- Not even a church sermon goes over well when the audience feels preached to. People want to be moved and inspired. Always seek to inspire rather than teach or preach. When your audience feels good they will respond positively to your message and to you.
4) Bang One Message- Bang away on one simple message or theme that people can remember and use. Avoid covering too many things that will be lost and forgotten. People will typically lock in on one theme anyway and you want your audience walking out with one basic line or message or action banging away in their head that they will align with you as the presenter. This is what gets passed on when your speech is over. If your presentation is one hour push one theme, not many!
5) Relate- Relate with audience that you understand the problems and challenges they experience by sharing your own. It seems that people can relate more easily with people’s struggles than they can with their successes. That is not to suggest you would not share successes but the successes will be even more valuable when compared to your mistakes. While it is critical to come off as a credible authority it is also vital that you come off as realistic. The experience of failing and persisting is credible, believable, and appealing. Ie. Tiger Woods could tell his audience how he missed a two foot putt to put him behind a stroke on the 16th hole in the final day and then later came back to win the Open on the 18th. This story of success would be more powerful when told against the backdrop of the failure. Think about music: without some periods of silence music would not be as effective.
6) Definitions- Defining commonly used words is one of the most powerful ways to awe an audience. Take the words that are commonly used in the subject matter of your speech and define those words. You will be shocked to discover that the audience does not fully understand the meaning of the words involved in the subject matter they consider themselves professionals in.
7) End with a success story or message of hope and inspiration- This is where you wrap your entire speech together and give the audience an overview of what they have gotten, how they can use it, and how it will effect them. Do so in a manner that they will leave your speech inspired and moved to a new level of hope and ability.
Speaking is one of the most powerful assets you have available to you in conveying yourself, your value, and your ideas. The more effective you are at speaking the more effective you will be in life!