You can’t be a premier league speaker overnight, but here are 7 actions you can take that will launch you on an improvement track towards a fulfilling destination.
1. Work on your form
The mechanics of your delivery are key.
Practice varying your tone of voice and the cadence of your presentation.
Present your material to yourself and listen to how you come across.
It’s not a speech; it’s a performance. Your job is to create a memorable experience for everyone in the room.
People will likely forget most of what you say but will remember how you made them feel.
2. Lose the comfort tools
Try it without a podium and notes to speak from.
Your end goal is to be “au naturelle” on the stage.
3. Live and breathe your material
You’re not giving an academic treatise; if you are not emotionally connected with your stuff you won’t be believable and no one will listen.
4. Get and keep your energy up
No one enjoys listening to someone who drones on as if they will die any moment.
Take a deep breath before going on, say out loud “energy up!” (I did this every time) and say it to yourself throughout your performance.
5. Study other speakers
This helps you determine how you can be different from the common crowd.
The “boilerplate speaker” has no unique identity and is soon forgotten. The distinctive performers, on the other hand, earn return engagements.
6. Treat yourself as a “subject matter expert”
Act and work as if you happen to have amazing communications and engagement skills.
You are NOT a “public speaker”.
7. Let your material “flow from your veins”
Make this happen flawlessly and be one with you.
If you achieve this state, you will be able to practice the actions mentioned above; if not, you will have to focus on your message content and to the expense of the audience experience.
Speaking success is not just about perfecting the mechanics of the discipline.
It’s about creating new rules of engagement where the prime objective is to connect with and dazzle every person in the audience.
Every person you engage with expects two things from you: to learn and be entertained.