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Wanna be a kick-ass speaker?
If so, this episode’s for you! Yes, practice is important, but by implementing a few simple tricks, you can also increase your effectiveness and confidence.
Over the last 18 months or so, I’ve had the privilege to have met and/or interviewed some amazing speakers, from whom I’ve learned many valuable lessons – some of which I haven’t heard or read anywhere else.
And I’ve also picked up some little tricks of my own during my speaking experiences. I’d like to share 9 of those with you today.
1. Thank and applaud the person who introduced you
I learned this from Judy Carter, who is one of the most entertaining speakers I’ve met. Click here to listen to the full interview.
It shows that you are appreciative and humble, PLUS it gets the audience involved, wakes them up a bit, and creates a positive vibe for the rest of the session.
2. Start with a STORY
So, after you’ve given your applause and gratitude to the person who just introduced you, please don’t go into the dreadful “Thank you all for coming” or “Thank you for having me” – it’s SO boring, besides, shouldn’t you should be thanking them at the end for STAYING instead??
3. Memorise your introduction AND your conclusion
If you can memorise your opening story and deliver it well, it will boost your confidence for the rest of your speech. Then memorising your conclusion means you finish on a strong note, so even if you mess up in the middle, you’ll be alright at the end. And that’s the bit people remember anyway 🙂
4. Think of your speech as a conversation
So you’re ok talking one-on-one with someone? Great! Speaking to a group is just like having a one-on-one conversation…with multiple people! You don’t have to be all formal and boring just because it’s a “presentation”. If you spoke to someone like that one-on-one, do you think they’d enjoy it? Probably not. They’d probably tell you to loosen up.
5. Warm up before your presentation
This one’s from Blake Eastman, who is a body language expert in New York. Click here to listen to our interview. Think of it this way – if you’re about to do a running race, do you go in cold? NO! That’s how you injure yourself!
6. MINGLE with the crowd beforehand
Another easy and effective one. I saw Pat Flynn do this at Social Media Marketing World – it’s gold. Simple way to build rapport with your audience before you even start speaking. BOOM. Click here to listen to our interview.
7. Don’t speak and look at your notes at the same time
This is a tip I picked up from the awesome peeps at Toastmasters. Let’s say you’re talking for a few minutes without notes and then you lose your train of thought, or can’t remember that interesting fact you were going to share. That’s ok. Don’t freak out. Pause, look at your notes, find your spot, look up, THEN resume talking.
8. Less is more
Another one from me. If you like to write your entire speech out and time it, go by this rule of thumb: 150 words per minute. Nope, you do NOT need to cram a shit tonne of information into your talk. Your audience can’t absorb it all anyway. Use the rule of 3 – see this article.
9. ‘Cheat’ like Simon Sinek
When author and speaker Simon Sinek was asked how he is so good at public speaking, he said “I cheat. I only talk about things I care about.”