Nine power tips for better public speaking

Getting in front of people and speaking confidently about your business is the best form of marketing. If you can speak on your topic of expertise in a compelling way, you will captivate and engage your listeners, and they will remember your business. For many people public speaking engenders fear and anxiety, but by planning your talk in advance and following a few proven strategies you’ll be able to step up to the mic with confidence.

Here are nine power tips to help you craft your next talk.

  1. Be brief. Avoid the curse of too much information your audience doesn’t need the whole back story. Keep it succinct, or they will switch off.
  2. Know your outcome. Begin with the end in mind. What is your intention and how will you craft and deliver a speech to meet that objective?
  3. Fascinate. Raise your listeners’ interest with a fascinating story: a well-crafted story will draw your audience into your narrative.
  4. Uncover humour but never force it. Unless you have had the training or you are a natural-born comedian don’t use jokes. Comedic timing is a skill worth learning but in the meantime share a fun story that is relatable. Find the humour in the ordinary.
  5. Entertain. Make your session fun and educational. We learn more when we have fun. Aim to include interactivity, so your audience gets involved. People will retain more when they feel included.
  6. Be original. Put your spin on your area of expertise. Don’t imitate others, instead be a thought leader in your industry.
  7. Tell better stories. Learn to use narrative strategically to drive your point and make your message stick.
  8. Find the balance between logic and emotion. You need to win both hearts and minds to be an influential communicator.
  9. Slow down. Allow time for people to reflect. Speak at a steady pace. Mix up your speed so that your voice has energy and avoid speaking too fast.