Improve Your Public Speaking Skills (PT. 2)
6) Meet Audience Members First
It’s always a good idea to meet a few of your audience members before taking the stage.
This is a great way to calm pre-presentation jitters, not to mention network and recruit a few last-minute audience members into your meeting or session. Bonus points if you find a way to incorporate those conversations into your speech.
To illustrate, suppose you talked with Laura from XYZ Sales at the coffee bar this morning. If Laura shared that sales recruitment is a big roadblock to scaling their sales team, include this anecdote in your presentation, along with tips on how you would approach the situation.
7) Give Yourself Time to Acclimate
Many speakers begin talking immediately after being introduced or walking onstage. Instead, try approaching the stage in silence. This gives you time to gather your thoughts, take a deep breath, and get used to being in front of the audience.
It gives your audience the chance to get used to you as well. If they’re checking email or answering some last-minute texts, it provides a few buffer moments so they can wrap up. This pause also sets the tone for the rest of your speech, which should be evenly paced, effective, and purposeful.

8) Don’t Open with an Excuse
How many times have you heard a speaker start by saying, “Sorry, I didn’t have much time to prepare,” or “My flight was delayed last night, so I’m a little tired”?
Your audience doesn’t care. Announcing to them that you haven’t prepared or are tired from a long flight won’t change the way your presentation is received or remembered.
Don’t begin your presentation with an excuse. That makes the time about you, when it should be about your audience and how you can provide value to them.
9) Be Conversational
The first 30 seconds of a speaker’s presentation tell you almost everything you need to know about what’s next. That means you probably haven’t made it past introducing yourself before you’ve either lost or gained the attention of your audience.
So how do you make the most of that first few seconds? First, be conversational. Use inflection in your voice and engage in natural, friendly body language. Instead of staying glued to your podium, walk casually back and forth in front of your audience. Gesture with your hands and make eye contact with individual people in front of you.
Second, don’t memorize your content. You should understand the concepts you’re communicating and know the overall structure of your presentation, but don’t recite your speech word for word. You’ll seem rehearsed and less engaging.
10) Rejoice in the First Mistake
I once had an instructor who would openly rejoice when she made her first mistake in front of a large class. She said it took the pressure off for the remainder of her class, so she could simply relax and teach.
While I wouldn’t recommend calling out the first mistake you make in front of your audience — they likely didn’t even notice — it is something you can quickly take note of internally.
Don’t beat yourself up about it, feel embarrassed, or let it derail your composure. Simply acknowledge your first mistake and view it as permission to relax and move on with your presentation.

From his success on the sales floor of an automotive dealership  to becoming a veteran trainer and then the adoption of technology for Internet-based marketing, his career has evolved to deliver the skills and tools needed to help consumers. Richie Bello combined his automotive expertise with his robust desire to “take care of the customer first” to become an automotive influencer, published author, and renowned trainer.  Bello absorbed the wants and needs of consumers as he worked up the ladder of the automotive industry.

Over the thirty-five years of his career, he developed strong Internet marketing skills, leading him to developing software solutions that create ease for consumers, and helps dealers improve relationships with customers. Innovation drives success. And, for Bello, it’s in his DNA. took years to come to consumers and arrived in a timely manner, during the 2020 Pandemic. With over 6 million vehicles on the site, features that help consumers deliver, finance and warranty, Bello has met the retail digital age head on.

Bello also is founder of Richie Bello Institute of Leadership and Management, a 501C3 not for profit, dedicated to the recruitment, education and employment of veterans into the automotive industry. Visit


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