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 happened to me on several occasions. The speakers were very knowledgeable and presented some interesting information but their presentation skills were less than average. I kept sitting there thinking to myself, “They needs some speaking tips. They need 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 presentation that will make you memorable:
1) Speak with passion about your subject. No hype–but let the audience know how much you truly enjoy what you do.
2) SMILE and make contact with your audience. Make them feel you are talking DIRECTLY to them.
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) Speak BOLDLY! Why come across as soft and timid if you’re trying to make a point?
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.