For a while now I have been adding words such as “public speaking“, “becoming an expert“, and “sharing my expertise” on my Vision Boards and whilst I do this on a small scale all the time, speaking in front of 50+ people brings me out in a cold sweat!
Public speaking is a great way for a small business to build and develop its brand, showcase its expertise AND upsell products (such as power hour coaching sessions and books) whilst I’m not a celebrity speaker I do know a thing or two about a couple of topics. When Erin, Life Friendly Business asked me to speak at her annual Momentum Day my initial reaction was “no thank you”, but I found myself typing “tell me more” and before I knew it had agreed to talk to 50+ women in business about “blogging for business“.
Simple And Effective Public Speaking Tips For Beginners:
- DO Plan What You’re Going To Say: Preparation is always key. I had notes, key phrases, and examples from my own blog plus a worksheet, this helped me bring my thoughts back on track and didn’t wander off on too much of a tangent.
How to plan and break down your presentation;
- What’s your topic?
- Introduction – introduce the key points
- Key points – What do you need them to know and why?
- Conclusion – summarise the key points
- Know Your Audience: It’s important to know your audience so you can pitch and plan your presentation to the right level. Your job is to tell the audience something they are not likely to know and leave feeling like they learned something valuable and actionable that they can take forward into their business. Initially, I had planned to talk about why you should have a blog but I soon realised everyone knows this already but time constraints and a million other reasons stop people from blogging, so I tailored it differently. I spoke about how to utilise blog content to upsell, populate social media, position yourself as an expert in your genre and that less is more. It’s better to have a number of well performing pieces of content than lots and lots of content that you half-heartedly wrote because ya’know content is king. Work smarter – not harder.
- Always Maintain Eye Contact: This doesn’t mean you keep gazing longly at someone as it can freak them right out! Keep your eyes in the direction of your audience, keep your head up, and don’t stare at the floor.
- Stand Comfortably: The Power Pose is a great way to instill a bit of confidence in ourselves. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, chin up, head high, hands on hips, and take in a few deep breaths. Do this for a few minutes before you go “on stage”, The Power Pose increases assertiveness and confidence. Then whilst you’re conducting your presentation make sure you are standing comfortably and possibly wearing sensible footwear (😉 or like me wear crazy shoes that everyone talking about 😉 Irregular Choice at its best! )
- Speak Cleary and Slowly: This can be easier said than done when you are passionate about a subject. Remember to breathe, use these pauses to enable the audience to catch up with what you just said, and take notes.
- Be Yourself: Authenticity is key. If you tried to talk in a funny accent or use words unnatural to you, how long do you think you could keep this persona going? Not very long I would imagine. We are our brands, be ourselves, people buy and engage with people they know, like, and trust they can spot a fake a mile off. I made jokes, mentioned upgrading my long term boyfriend into my husband and my crazy shoes, all things authentic to me, and my personality, and kept me feeling confident.
- SMILE: Smiling actually helps you feel more comfortable, confident and reduces tension. Since smiles (like yawns) are contagious, they attract a positive atmosphere that allows for a more engaging discussion. Smiling makes you appear more optimistic and hides your nervousness. So if in doubt SMILE!
What simple and effective top tips do you have for public speaking?
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