Introduction: Move from any “woulda, coulda, shoulda” thinking. Don’t wait for the perfect time – just DO IT!
Remember, there is no right time to begin writing your speech or begin your speaking career.
1. Before each speech, review the demographics (age, sex, socioeconomic status, and educational level) and the
psychographics (belief systems and values) of your audience. Retrieve this information from a pre-program questionnaire
you provide to your program chair.
2. Know your message so that you can decide whether to inform, persuade, motivate, or entertain the audience.
Sometimes, you may combine all four. Be creditable by using facts, statistics, and true stories.
3. Begin with a knock-out opening. You may tell a short story or a funny or sad incident, or use a startling comment or ask a question. Grab the audience’s attention within the first minute and then sustain your delivery through out the speech.
4. Identify three points you want to get across—the essence of what you want the audience to remember about what you
5. Be clear. No one should ever leave the room uncertain about your main points. A good rule is to tell them what you are going to say, tell them what you have to say, and then tell them what you said. Keep your message simple.
6. Help the audience “see” what you are saying. More people absorb information by sight and touch than by hearing. Talk at a reasonable pace and project your voice.
7. Avoid being the wizard of “ahs,” “ers,” “ums,” and “you knows.” To eliminate these, maintain eye contact with your audience and keep your face open. Pauses are good.
8. Modulate your voice and use a full range of facial expressions (just as yu would when reading a story to a child). These are the ways you get your audience to like you and become energetically involved with you.
9. Make your closing memorable. You may go from belly laughs to tears. This is a good time to elicit emotions from your audience. It is also a time for you to announce “a call to action.” What do you want them to do after hearing your speech?
10. Never assume anything. Arrive at least one hour early. Carry an extra copy of your speech( and an extra set of any
slides). Check out the microphone and any projectors sued form PowerPoint or overhead presentations. Don’t let Murphy’s Law strike!
11. Be approachable. If possible, greet your audience at the door or stroll through the room as they arrive. This will create familiarity and reduce the tension for you and your audience.
12. Are you developing the skills necessary to enjoy a long term speaking career? Embrace ongoing relationships with your clients. Build your networks and constantly add value.
13. Don’t do it alone. Company makes it more fun! Hire a coach now and cut your learning curve.
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
To find out How to Become a Highly Paid Professional Speaker, go to http://www.schrift.com/ProfessionalSpeaker/
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Buy the audio CD (available as an MP3 download). “POWER PRESENTATIONS FOR PROFESSIONALS” at
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