Many people prefer getting a tooth pulled in the dentists’ chair to the thought of public speaking.
Here are 10 short tips that could start you on the right path to enjoying your speaking engagement…
-First, do some quiet meditation or deep breathing.
-Have a raffle where they throw in their business card in a basket or complete a small piece of paper listing their first name/phone/email address (legibly) before you begin
so they are entered for a prize – often about 1/2-1 hour of your time to help them achieve what you are discussing, etc.
-Have your opening remarks memorized and get the audiences’ attention by asking a question or presenting a funny story.
-You must practice a lot – use your mirror, practice out loud with a tape recorder and video recorder, if possible, so you can listen and give yourself feedback as well as get suggestions from those you know.
-First try out your speech in a less threatening place, such as the Lions Club. They are very welcoming.
-Be aware that your audience wants to hear your message not criticize you. You will provide valuable information that will enhance their business and/or personal life.
-A half-hour speech should just focus on one salient point. If you have 60-90 minutes, give three points. Make it interactive. Your audience won’t remember the majority of what you say but know how you make them feel.
-If time allows, do address some questions/answers and perhaps do a role play.
-It’s often useful to provide a Power Point presentation or have some fun toys to lighten things up (throw a beach ball for people to answer questions and win a prize, if correct).
-Give a handout about a few points you made, how to contact you and information about other programs you provide and other organizations who might like you to speak.
What beginning public speaking tips have you found useful? Please share them with this audience.