CHAMPION STRATEGIES – PUBLIC SPEAKING INFORMATION – AUGUST 21, 2021
PUBLIC SPEAKING TIPS (PT.1)
- Make Your Title Audience Focused
Go back to your title now and redesign it so that it has a significant “want” of the audience. Just look at the title as you have it and ask “why” does the audience need to hear this presentation? Whatever the answer to that question is should be added to the title. For instance, if your title is “Project Update,” and you followed tip #1 and made it more specific, you might end up with, “Smith Building Construction Project Update.” Now go one step farther. What is the actual result of the update? What conclusion do you want the audience to come to about the presentation? Now the title becomes, “Smith Building is Two Weeks behind Schedule, but Back on Track by the End of the Month.”
- Make Your Bullet Points Title Focused
Once you make your title audience-focused, your bullet points are likely to change. If your title is just “Smith Building Project Update,” then you’d likely have dozens of possible points that you could cover from personnel, schedule, budget, project map, client meetings, community outreach, etc however, if the title is about how the project is behind schedule and our plan to get back on schedule. You’ll likely spend point one on what happened to get us off track (and tell a few stories about it). Then, points two and three will probably be a few things that we will do to get back on track with examples of each.
- Add More Stories
I know that I gave this tip earlier, but stories are your Ace-in-the-Hole in presentations. The more that you have, the better your presentation will be, and the more that your audience will like you. I often hear statements from class members like, “But, presenters in my company don’t tell stories.” I always respond with, “Well, I can pretty much bet that meetings and speeches within your company stink, then.” And then almost always agree. After you have your skeleton presentation designed with a topic, a few key bullet points, and a story to prove each bullet point, go back and add a few more stories as proof. Below are a few ways to do this.
A Few Ways to Use Stories to Reduce Nervousness and Add Impact
- Add a Moral or an Action
Your examples are great ways to teach the audience or persuade them. When you finish your stories, add a moral or call to action to the end, such as, “so, what I want you to get from this is.” When we tell people to do something or give advice, human nature is to play Devil’s Advocate, but when you tell a story first, they are more likely to agree. Try it around the office. Instead of giving advice right away, start with a story about the advice first and see if you get better results.
- Use Success Stories as Proof
Your successes are solid proof that your advice is sound, so anytime you offer advice or a suggested plan of action, always try to use a personal example as your proof that your input is valid. If you haven’t had personal success with the new idea, find some other group or person who has and use their success story as proof.
- Learn from Mistakes
When you or your team has challenges, tell the story about the trial or mistake, and then add the moral at the end to show how you learned from it. A lot of times, this can add some self-deprecating humor, as well.
- Give Contrasting Examples
A good way to use examples and stories is with a “good” example and a “bad” example. For instance, if you are giving a suggestion or advice in your presentation, give one example of a time when you or someone else didn’t take the advice, and the results were less than adequate and a second example when we used the advice and had success.
A Few Public Speaking Tips to Use Audience Participation to Add Impact
- Add Audience Participation
Audience participation is a fantastic way to break up the presentation and add energy and attentiveness to a presentation. The adage is that “People will support a world that they help create.” When your audience helps deliver your presentation, they will enjoy the presentation more and retain the information longer.