Have you ever been to a conference or meeting where the expert speaking either made you yawn (more than once) or used words you would have to use a dictionary to look up? That’s what happened to me recently when I went to a luncheon. The speaker was very knowledgeable and presented some interesting information but her presentation skills were less than average. I kept sitting there thinking to myself, “She needs some speaking tips. She needs my services!”
Truth be told, many experts in their fields don’t really have what it takes to command an audience. They know their subject very well but, often times, they fail to communicate effectively. According to Kathy Caprino of Ella Communications, “Experts simply fail to engage us on an emotional, heartfelt level – they don’t connect in a personal way, or give the sense that they truly care a whit about the audience and its ability to productively use the vast information they know and share. In the end, their lack of a human connection makes their presentations feel overwhelming and unsettling– they push us away with all data, facts and statistics, and no heart and soul.”
And if you can’t hold a “live” audience, chances are you would really bomb out during a radio or TV interview.
You might be the queen or king of the social media circles but the written word is dramatically different than the spoken word.
Here are some speaker tips for conducting a good media interview or to a live audience:
1) Speak with passion about your subject. No hype–but let the audience know how much you truly enjoy what you do.
2) SMILE—even if you’re doing a radio interview, the listener can “hear” it in your voice.
3) Don’t use $10 words. No one is going to be impressed with all the big words you know. But if you do use them, make sure you can explain them in layman’s terms.
4) It’s okay to gesture—yes, even if you’re doing radio. People who sit stiff as a board will appear more robotic than human.
5) Join a Toastmasters Group in your area. You will find people at various skill levels all trying to accomplish the same goal of being a better speaker. Or if you can afford it—hire a personal speaker coach (like me) to help you.