Delivering your message to an audience through public speaking can be daunting. But, it really doesn’t have to be if you understand that your message is a story that will be helpful to your audience. Consider each of these tips as you get started and you’ll be amazing.
Tell a Compelling Story
People do not want to be lectured, even if it’s a business event. They want to hear a story that makes them think about possibilities. Remember the five C’s you learned in high school English:
- Circumstance – Let your audience understand the circumstances. Paint a picture that they’ll understand.
- Curiosity – Make them feel curious about what you’re going to say next by connecting them emotionally to your story.
- Characters – Try to bring any characters you mention to life by telling a little story about each of them, even if it’s an inanimate object like a computer.
- Conversations – Since it’s a speech, use this tip to be more conversational to avoid lecturing anyone.
- Conflict – It always helps if you’ve overcome a problem to arrive where you are now. People respect a good bootstrap story.
Find a Way to Relate to Your Audience
It helps if you can find some information about the audience you’ll be speaking to in advance. The audience may not always fit directly into your target audience if it’s not an event you planned, but there will be people who will relate to you.
Try to Spark Emotion in Your Audience
When you can use buzzwords that bring forth emotional imagery, along with your slides, you’ll trigger something in the audience that makes them hang on every word that you say.
Engage Their Senses
Your audience may have listened to more than one talk today. They might be tired. They probably want to hear your message but may be having issues with hunger, tiredness, even a sore butt from sitting in hotel chairs in a conference room all day. Take a couple minutes out of your message to get them to stand up and move, which will help them listen more actively.
Change the Order
You know your story, so you don’t have to start at the beginning and finish at the end. You can start in the middle, or you can start at the end, then bring them full circle to understanding all the points you want to make to them. This is an interesting way to weave your message throughout your presentation.
Don’t Be Boring
Most of your audience already understands the basics of your business or they would not be there. You shouldn’t have to get into the minutia of definitions of words for them. Instead, focus on the meat of the message so that they leave understanding the important bits.
You have a great message and an amazing story to share with your audience. Don’t hold back and don’t be afraid to get personal. Remember to make eye contact with your audience members, talk to them and not at them, and try to stay relaxed. Move around a little on stage so that you can relate to the audience wherever they’re sitting, and not just those that are front and center.