As a business owner, public speaking is an inevitable part of the job description.
When you think of public speaking, you probably think of giving a speech, keynote or presentation. However, public speaking could be as simple as leading a team meeting, presenting to a client or even holding a meaningful conversation at a networking event.
Public speaking is simply a form of communication.
We are all public speakers, especially business owners, which makes it exceptionally important to speak with poise, credibility and humanity.
Consider the following tips for becoming a better communicator:
What is your “why?”
Establish your purpose and keep it in mind while preparing your speech. Here are some tips for establishing your “why:”
Establishing your purpose will set the foundation and framework for your presentation, as well as style of communication.
Firstly, who is your audience? Are they colleagues, clients, superiors or peers?
Knowing who your audience is will affect how you communicate with them. It’s always best to err on the side of caution and avoid overly technical jargon or terminology unless you’re certain your audience will understand it.
Overcomplicating your message can alienate a portion of your audience and lose their attention.
Simply your message without sacrificing on content; even the most skilled speakers are able to communicate the most complex topics in simple terms effectively.
Why should you simplify your message?
Visual aids should be used to support, not distract from your presentation. Visuals can be valuable if used sparingly and effectively.
For example, PowerPoint slides should be clean and simple — don’t be afraid of white space! Use your slides to highlight key points and don’t overwhelm them with excessive graphics, distracting fonts or too many colors.
You are the main event during your presentation; avoid flashy, distracting visuals, as they’ll quickly steal the show and dilute your message. If you can efficiently hold your presentation without the use of visuals, skip them!
Personal stories and anecdotes are more effective for relating to your audience than simple facts and figures.
Share a compelling story — be human. Charisma and passion are two of the most highly valued traits of successful speakers. Let your enthusiasm radiant to your audience so that they can get on board with your message.
Practice is key, but you already know that. Do a trial run of your presentation to weed out filler words, stutters, nerves, jitters, etc.
Watching yourself on video can help you adjust body language, movements, facial expressions, stage presence and energy.
Pay attention to how you command the space; are you standing in one position or moving around? Notice if you’re blocking the screen or any visuals.
Are you look at your audience or constantly referring to your notes?
Consider asking a trusted peer to watch your presentation and give feedback. The more you practice, the more natural your presentation will be.
Only 10% of communication is verbal. With 90% of your communication coming from body language, it’s important to prepare physically, as well as mentally.
Power posing is an effective strategy for preparing the right mindset before a presentation. Power posing is the act of assuming particular body language, to impart desired emotions/feelings onto oneself.
For example, If your goal is to feel empowered and confident before a presentation, assume a posture which makes you feel empowered and confident, such as standing tall with hands on hips or arms overhead in fists of triumph.
It may feel odd or unnatural to begin, but your mind will eventually catch up with your body. It’s recommended to assume a power pose for around 2 minutes, to feel the effects.
Before a presentation, get familiar with your surroundings, including the technology you’ll be using. Consider the following:
Learn more about becoming a great communicator and speaker:
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