CHAMPION STRATEGIES – PUBLIC SPEAKING WORKSHOP – JUNE 28, 2021
Tips for Mastering the Art of Public Speaking
One Saturday morning in December 2012, I received an email out of the blue from the president of one of the biggest American History think tanks. He mentioned he had just read one of my articles (one of the first ones I had written for this column) and was fascinated by the correlations I made between the African – American culture and of the many U.S. high-performance teams in the business world.
He ended the email by inviting me to do a series of keynote presentations and workshops during the company’s global leadership meetings the following month in Houston, Texas. Terrified, I accepted. I’m an entrepreneur, for crying out loud.
As soon as I hit “send” I turned to my wife and said, “Oh, I need to brush up on my professional speaking…fast. It has been a few years since I had worked and gave a keynote address!”
Up until that point, I had a lot of significant public speaking experience but it had been on the self for a while. But one thing that sticks with all athletes in any level for the rest of their life is the importance of preparedness. So I prepared. And prepared. Then prepared some more. It went so well, they brought me out to two months later to speak at another event. That was ten years ago. I now speak about one hundred times each year.
And you know what? It gets easier!
We all have the need to speak well in front of an audience at times during our lives. Whether you’re speaking at your sister’s wedding, addressing your team, teaching a course or speaking to a judge, we all want to do well. So why leave things to chance?
Here are some tips that will launch you into the speaking stratosphere.
1. Know your audience.
If you are speaking in front of an audience, there is usually a reason. Know who you are speaking to and what they want or need to take away. If it’s friends and family, entertain them. If it’s a corporate event, teach and inspire them. Knowing the demographic of the audience is imperative.
When you spend time of knowing the group that you are speaking too, you can research and use words, terms and phrases that they relate to, which will go a long way in them listening to you.