Introduction: The three rules for being a top presenter are: practice, practice, practice. The good news is that public speaking is a craft that can be taught and learned. Hire a speech coach.
1. Do you love what you speak on? Develop a niche or specialty that you truly enjoy and are good at. Have a passion for your subject(s). Be persistent in your quest to be a speaker of excellence. Have the patience to succeed.
2. Do you have something interesting, inspiring, and useful to share with audiences? Be mindful of your voice (keep it deep and low pitched), your personality and attitude (positive), your tone (soft, loud, encouraging as needed), your style, and your vocabulary.
3. Prepare 24/7. You don’t write speeches. You find them everywhere… in hotels, from family experiences, in supermarkets and in restaurants. Retrieve them and retell them. Do your research and keep current.
4. Practice your speech out loud. Rehearse until you are a virtuoso. Record it on a tape recorder and/or video camera. Play it back to see what changes you wish to make. Also do this when giving a program to a live audience. Do it every time!
5. Have good platform skills. Knowing your subject is not enough. You must have the ability to excite the audience and keep their interest.
6. Speak from the heart and always connect quickly with your audience. Most audiences want to laugh, be inspired, listen to your personal stories, and feel something. The listeners want you to know more than they do.
7. To begin, practice the four D’s with the tasks in your life: Drop, Delay, Delegate, Do! Make space for taking the steps needed to pursue your speaking career.
8. Acknowledge and utilize your prime time (chronobiology). Use your peak working hours to develop and collect your material, listen to tapes, hear other speakers, view videos, etc.
9. Take one step at a time – the first step is the hardest. The do what is needed to package yourself and improve your delivery constantly.
10. When speaking, act like your favorite actor or actress. Good speakers bring many different aspects of their personality to the material they are presenting. So be prepared to play the role of the humorist, motivator, problem solver, and even controversial thinker.
11. Go to the movies and watch actors perform theatrically. Then sprinkle some heightened reality into your speech. “Reality without theatricality is boring”.
12. To be an effective public speaker, you must persuade your audience to think, feel and/or do something differently.
13. Short is better than long. Lincoln’s Gettysburg address ran only 266 words. Always allow time for questions from the
audience, as they will know better than you what is on their minds. Questions and comments will provide you with valuable feedback and wisdom from the group.
14. Create a catchy, provocative speech title. If you include a subtitle, be sure it states your speech’s benefit(s). Keep I short and clear! Titles begin with “How to” are the number one attention getters. For example, Sandra Schrift’s audio cassette program on How to Succeed in the Speaking Business.” Use creative metaphors and alliteration. Professional speaker Eric Chester speaks on Krafting Kreative Keynotes. Author Sam Horn created best sellers with the names Tongue Fu! And ConZentate.
COPYRIGHT: ©2006 by Sandra Schrift. All rights reserved
Sandra Schrift 13 year speaker bureau owner and now career coach to emerging and veteran public speakers who want to
“grow” a profitable speaking business. I also work with business professionals and organizations who want to master their presentations. Visit http://www.schrift.com
Buy the audio CD (available as an MP3 download). “POWER PRESENTATIONS FOR PROFESSIONALS” at
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