By Dian Griesel, President of Dian Griesel International
Are you looking to captivate an audience for your next meeting? Or are you interested in delivering an unforgettable presentation? Public speaking is a useful skill to possess for garnering investors, increasing staff morale or engaging with the media. If you follow these tips, you will surely reap the benefits of effective public speaking:
• Possess a genuine appreciation in what you do. Remember not all people have the chance and the courage to speak in front of a large crowd. It is a privilege that is coupled with your responsibility to entertain, educate and persuade your audience. Public speaking is an art that requires a tremendous amount of skill.
• Prepare adequately. Research your topic. Do not throw away old materials that you have used. Organize material logically and use supporting metaphors or analogies to solidify the message you want to convey.
• Relate with your audience promptly. Remember that you only have half a minute to connect to your audience so use it wisely. Avoid offensive remarks or jokes. Share a funny story that is applicable to your subject; cite a quotation or an anecdote to keep their attention.
• Be sincere and sensitive towards your audience. Share some of your unfavorable experiences involving your topic. This way your audience perceives you as a real person and they can relate to your subject.
• Develop a passion for your topic. Your audience will not care to listen if you show less interest in your topic. Jot down the topics that you love. Then, choose two or three that you can expound.
• Communicate in ways that will help people learn. In a recent study, 80% of people learn by visual stimulation and only 20% actually learn by listening to the lecture. So do not underestimate the use of visual props and visual aids. Find other ways or tools that can help you achieve 100% of your audience’s attention.
• Reinforce your key points. Be a proficient storyteller and share stories that people relate to then circle back to your point. How can your words relate to your listeners?
• Be patient in your goal to succeed. Persistence is a must. There is no such thing as overnight success in public speaking. Attend trainings about effective speaking; or ask someone who has mastered the art of public speaking.
• Practice. Memorizing your speech is not enough. Try to practice in front of a mirror or with a friend. Their feedback can help you improve the way you deliver your message.
• Be determined in your pursuit to be an outstanding spokesperson. Show excellence through your experiences and how you tailor your material to match your audience.
Media interviews and corporate presentations are essential and relied upon by many to assess company leadership—which might be why some officers don’t care for them. If you can’t deliver energetic and commanding speeches or polished and articulate interviews, you are short-circuiting your company’s future. There is no time like the present to do something to improve the situation.”