4 Tips for Successfully Putting Yourself 'Out There' as a Public Speaker
Public speaking can bring your business a lot of different opportunities. Some entrepreneurs desire to get on the stage to expand their reach and authority. Not only does it convey their expertise to the masses, it gets the word out quickly.
Public speaking is no joke. When done correctly, you can amass a serious following and begin launching your career towards your goals expediently. However, there’s some advice you need to heed to in order to grasp the opportunity you have been given on stage. Needless to say, if you bomb, the result can have the opposite effect.
To help you out, I spoke with three professional speakers to gather hints about how you can stay front and center, not only on the stage, but in the hearts and minds of your audience. These professionals are Dennis Yu, Leonard Kim, and Jared Lafitte. They can open the door to your knowledge of the stage. Allow me to enlighten you on their four best public speaking tips.
1. Overcome your nerves.
There’s no greater feeling than to have received word you’re going to present at an event or conference. The excitement can be overwhelming because of the opportunity your business has been given your business.
However, when the time comes to step on stage, your mind and body can overtake you. Especially if you’re speaking for the first time. To be able to take control when the right time comes you need to have a couple of things in order.
First, make sure you prepare a speech. This is a given, but don’t forget to know it backwards and forwards. Once on stage, if you have not already repeated the speech 100 times in your office or in front of friends, you are not concentrating on the eyeballs in the room.
Mark Twain who didn’t really enjoy impromptu speaking, always practiced over and over before he had to step in front of a crowd.
Related: The Top Rules Of Public Speaking
Practicing is one of the greatest ways to combat your nerves when the time comes. Muscle memory takes over your brain, and you begin to deliver your message without flaw. Preparation is the key to steady nerves at kickoff time.
2. Break down your knowledge.
Dennis Yu, the chief technology officer of BlitzMetrics, has spoken in over 19 countries, creating knowledge and power for his audiences. One of the hardest parts about speaking is taking high-level subject matter and explaining it on a relatable level.
There are many ways to make your topic understandable to your audience, but one of the best ways to get your message across is to break down your topic in a step-by-step checklist.
Yu says, “The task-level how-to components are easy enough to assemble if you know the material well and have done it yourself many times. If I find that I'm not able to easily assemble this checklist, that's a signal I don't know the material as well I think. So it's time to study more and enlists others who have hands-on experience, then try again.”
Hands-on knowledge and experience are key elements to creating a successful public speaking engagement. In order to capture the mind of your audience, you have to have been where they are, so you can share how your past experiences might solve their problem. No matter if you’re speaking about marketing or about a life-altering change, when you have been there before and came out successfully, you understand the steps to overcome a problem.
3. Create confidence through content.
While working with Fortune 500 organizations and speaking to many thousands of people since 2009, Jared Lafitte understands the meaning of confidence and the power it has over an audience.
Confidence suggests expertise, especially when you are being relevant and useful to your audience. Lafitte explains "the word confidence comes from two Latin words meaning “faith with.” So, if you want to exude confidence, you need to have faith in your content.
No one wants to hear boring content. Giving a great speech not only gives you better results, it is also more persuasive. The confidence of your presentation depends on the type of content about which you have decided to speak.
In order to create confidence you need to know and understand your audience. Find out all you can about the event and the audience attending. Practice social listening to determine their problems and see how you can resolve them in a presentation that provides real answers to their questions.
Lafitte says to show everything you’re feeling during your speech. When an audience listens to you they’re judging the authenticity of what you say according to the body language and facial expressions you use, just like in everyday conversation. Take advantage of this and really dig into being expressive.
4. Craft an engaging speech.
To captivate your audience, one needs to win their hearts and minds by walking into the living room of their situation and proving you’ve been where they are.
This is what Leonard Kim excels at. Working closely with Ryan Foland in the speaking arena, Leonard Kim has been recognized by Forbes as a Top Marketing Influencer, by Inc. Magazine as a Top Digital Marketer, and by Entrepreneur as a Top Branding Expert. To say Kim has been before is an understatement. He has worked his way from homelessness to being featured in huge publications like Mashable and Fortune Magazine.
If you want to impact the lives of your audience and have them walking away feeling like they could conquer anything, you have to create a speech which engages with them.
Kim suggests breaking your talk into segments. Don’t overload the audience with too much information too quickly. Take your time and allow them to consume the content.
People are impacted by stories. Kim says make sure you’re telling a story, not giving a speech. There’s nothing more boring than a rehearsed talk. Rehearse your speech, but don’t memorize it. Give allowances for improvisation to work its way organically into your talk, which gives it flow for your audience.
Another way to create an engaging speech is to be engaging yourself. While it can be easy to allow your nerves to take over, it’s important to relax and have fun with it. You know your material, you have the experience, and you can tell some great stories, tying it all together.