Successful entrepreneurs should master many skills and the art of public speaking is among those. Because if you can’t get your idea across, what’s the point of having one? Here are the ultimate public speaking tips every entrepreneur should master. Remind those to yourself when you are about to hit the stage and are breaking in a cold sweat.
Just do it over and over again. It will help you edit out the unnecessary parts and most importantly boost your confidence. You can practice your speech to people you are comfortable with and then ask for feedback.
If you work hard beforehand, when the time comes you will go with the flow without depending on the piece of paper in your hands (a little cheat-sheet with key points is fine though). And if something goes not as planned you will be able to handle the situation gracefully.
Rigorous practicing will also help you to be the master of your time. Getting your main points across without rushing is key.
In fact, it’s advised that you don’t start your speech right after you show up. First, get yourself comfortable in the space you’re in. Second, take a few breaths and only then start calmly.
The same goes for your speaking pace. Your audience might be totally new to what you are about to say. Using industry specific jargon and terms isn’t the best idea. Make sure your speech is for everyone.
Know your audience
As an entrepreneur, this idea shouldn’t be new to you. The level of connection with your audience is going to determine whether you’ve succeeded or failed.
You can use what you think are the most awesome visuals, but if your audience doesn’t get it, it’s all in vain.
So do your research. Speak with the event coordinators if possible to determine what type of people you can expect during your speech. Also, ask if any virtual audience will be present. If the event will be streaming live, you don’t want people to feel left out just because they’re taking advantage of technology.
Going back to your real-time audience, don’t you dare to forget to look them in the eyes! Simon Sinek, one of the most watched TED Talks speakers, among other public speaking tips suggests looking at audience members one by one. Such tactic, he believes, will enhance the connection.
“You’re not speaking at them, you’re speaking with them.”
This isn’t mandatory, so you are free to determine whether it works for you. Personally, I wouldn’t go for that one because as an audience member it just never felt right to me. When the speaker gazes at you for some time uninterrupted, it just can feel intimidating. You end up nodding but not listening.
And never be salesy. It’s understandable that drawing attention to your business is among the reasons of your speech. But it shouldn’t be your priority otherwise you will end up forcing yourself on your audience. And that’s the last thing they want.
But let’s look at this from the other side. While giving your speech, you will be representing your brand anyway, right? So if you make a head spinning speech, people will naturally be curious about your company. They might immediately try to connect to you on social media networks. Your job then becomes to make it easier. So if you’re using slides make sure your company website, Twitter handle, etc. are on there.
In other words – the fact that you are in a power position for some twenty minutes doesn’t make you an all knowing superhuman. So never preach. Instead, kindly share your knowledge and experience. And don’t forget to add some examples. Also don’t be afraid of letting your emotions show. The more human you appear, the more your audience will adore you.
How many of the TED Talks you watched had a good story and a joke to start with? Many. And that’s among the reasons why people love them. So, if you feel like starting your speech with a story or a good joke – go for it.
Public speaking tips can go on and on, varying based on the content of your speech and your target audience. But tips above will help you become more organized and mindful.
But putting all of that aside, do you know what are the most important yet simple public speaking tips? Remembering to breath and saying thank you in the end!