Making Your Speech Work For You
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A majority of people think that the presentations they make or the speeches they give finish the moment they leave the stage. However, the use of social media and the sheer number of touchpoints you now have with your audience can keep a speech alive for years, not only increasing your reach, but also advancing your career.
So before you start viewing your upcoming engagement as something to “just get through,” start developing a strategy to make your speech work for you by using the following tactics to your advantage.
The easiest way to immediately create a wider reach with your content is to cut out direct quotes or bullet points, and paste them into Twitter. You can use them as a teaser to your upcoming presentation with the time and location you’ll be appearing at, and find out through hashtags who else is speaking at or attending the event. Better yet, email a few key points over to the conference organizer or person in charge of social media for the event with the time of your presentation, so they have them at hand to quote and refer back to you. Alternatively, use a social media scheduling app or website to plug them in ahead of time, and go live as your presentation progresses- just make sure the event and your talk is running on time! Twitter is my favorite source of directly interacting in a professional manner with clients and customers in real time with all applicable hashtags and user handles.
For real longevity though, rewriting your speech or presentation into content for you company blog, a piece for an industry magazine, or on your LinkedIn profile to create ongoing momentum. You can’t just copy and paste a transcript (remember, you should have written your speech to speak, not to read), and so instead, group a few of your ideas or concepts together, add in questions and responses from the audience or fellow guests, and don’t forget a catchy title.
Also, look into the option of recording your speech on the podium near your microphone, or asking the tech team at the event to hook it up for you through their mixing board. You’ll need to look into this well in advance, and once you have the audio, use it as a podcast feature and share around or film your speech and load it to a YouTube or Facebook channel.
Presenting to your peers or senior members of staff? Or, perhaps it’s a panel discussion at an industry conference that you’ll be participating in? Whatever the environment, it’s your chance to have your boss notice you and have your colleagues talking about you. Here’s an opportunity to show off to your bosses, convince your colleagues and also share data and information to a larger group than you might have ever been exposed to before.
It is your chance to make a mark and leave a lasting impression, and show how invested you are with the organization, and what you can provide to help achieve their targets with what you bring to the table. Take it seriously, reserve time to prepare and rehearse, and be the person everyone wants to work with and learn from.
By focusing on your presentation skills, which most people run a million miles from, it then becomes your primary differentiator between you and your peers. If you can effectively communicate your ideas, you are more likely to convince an audience of them and be seen as a better leader, and you’ll also be more approachable, because you “put yourself out there.”
Boost your self-esteem
As much as it may seem like a rollercoaster of emotions leading up to getting on stage, it all ends up with a flow of endorphins. From the shyest among you and through to the extroverts, the rush of adrenaline and excitement gets the blood pumping, and honestly, the opportunity you get from being on stage is one to be thankful for. If you try and view it as a chore, your audience will only be sitting through something they will clearly see you don't want to do and have them questioning why you're up there in the first place. Give them something to talk about, and make sure they have a reason to come up to you at the end of the speech.
When you do something that you are afraid of, a natural high follows, often lasting for hours or even days. Most people view public engagements with fear, and that causes the release of endorphins in your brain. So part of your natural high comes from your body’s response to fear, and part of it comes from the exhilaration you feel after overcoming a major personal obstacle, which also triggers the release of endorphins.
Many presenters often joke about how fearful they were before and during their speech. But once it was over, they wanted nothing more than to go right back to the podium and deliver another speech. So when you get a chance to speak on stage, don’t let go of it- and make it work to your advantage.