A dread of public speaking is one of the most common fears people have. Just the thought of speaking in front of an audience is enough to give most people a case of the jitters. In spite of the fear, though, public speaking can be an important skill for entrepreneurs to master. It gives you an excellent way to present your vision, your knowledge, and capabilities to the world. As a business owner, you’ll be dealing with clients, employees and investors on a daily basis. Accurate public speaking abilities will help you catch their interest, and thus you’ll be able to hook them with interesting stories and meaningful facts. Here are a few tips that can help you become a better public speaker.
Know your audience
In order to be effective, you need to connect with your audience. To do this, you need to ensure that your message, material, and presentation are all tailored to the audience. Will you be speaking to a group of senior citizens, technology experts, sales people, or college students? Each of these audiences could require a different presentation and approach in order to be effective.
Research who will be in your audience. Check with the event coordinators in advance so that you know what to expect. How many people will be there? What are their backgrounds? What are their needs in relation to your topic? Also consider whether there will be a virtual audience. Will the presentation be recorded? Will it be live-streamed, or posted on YouTube?
Deliver value in your presentation
Your most important focus in putting together your presentation should be providing value to your audience. People are not attending your speech to hear an hour-long sales pitch for your product. That type of material will cause them to tune out quickly. Instead of thinking about your own needs for the speech, put the needs of your audience first. What can you talk about that will provide value for them?
Of course, you do want to work in some time talking about your brand, your company, and your products or services. Just try to do this is a non-pushy way. As long as you are talking about a topic which is related to your business, and you provide solid, useful information for your audience, you will gain credibility and they will want to find out more about what you do. Mention your business, but don’t overdo it. Make sure your website and contact information are easy to find for people who may be interested in your services.
After you put your presentation together, practice it as often as you can. The more you practice, the better you will know your material. This makes you more confident when you get up in front of the audience. You’ll be surer of what you want to say, and how you want to deliver the speech. You’ll have fewer worries about forgetting your material, and the situation will seem less intimidating.
A side benefit of practicing a speech over and over is that you will continually refine and improve it. Each time you repeat the speech, you may notice a line here or there that could be improved. You might find a place you could add a humorous anecdote, or a section that needs to be streamlined in order to complete your message in the designated time.
Get inspired from the pitches of other speakers
There are so many good public speakers out there. Avid entrepreneurs should listen to the pitches of other experts in the speaking field, in order to find and then master their own style. Let others inspire you – assess their body language, speaking tone, body language and use it to your advantage.
Companies should want to hire speakers, too, because these experts have the power to motivate employees. As human beings, we need to be empowered; we need other people to tell us that we’re good at what we do, we need to feel appreciated. Public speakers can help companies thrive. They can instill passion, drive, determination, and they can completely change our way of thinking. There’s nothing more powerful than a productive enterprise, and sometimes entrepreneurs may be compelled to turn to a speaker just to wake up his team and get things on the right track.