The Boardroom Retreat was designed to help you grow in capacity. Public Speaking is one of the top fears of any leader. Ask a leader to send out a meeting request no worries, stand them in front of a crowd and we begin to shake.
Brene Brown released her latest book this week Dare To Lead and she begins the introduction with her own fears around public speaking.
Amanda Viviers from The Boardroom Retreat gives her top ten tips in growing your public speaking capacity. Let’s start a conversation below in the comments and let’s grow together.
Begin with your story
No matter what topic you are speaking on, refine and define your own story to bring authenticity and courage to the platform. The more you rumble with your own story. The more you collect personal examples and applications of these stories in your own life, the more accessible you are to the audience.
How do you collect your own stories for public speaking?
One of the greatest connection points in public speaking is the capacity to laugh at yourself and with the audience. When you lean in to see who is in front of you are they enjoying themselves? Each and every time we communicate in front of a crowd, own the space by lightening the mood. A simple joke, a story or an opportunity to allow the audience to see your backstory.
What makes you laugh?
The media saturation of our current age means that more than ever we have become visual learners. Unfortunately, most speakers then move to “death by powerpoint”stealth stance. Rather than hundreds of slides, what if you used a visual, a picture or a prop to help bring your story to life. In every point that you are trying to make as yourself this question:
How can I visualise this point?
Less is more
The best way you can improve your presentation is to cut it in half. Fewer points, less information and half the quotes. Beef up your time, with stories, examples and applications. When we focus in on the subject and create moments that take our audience to places where they can remember the main points, we have achieved our goal.
In one sentence what do you want the audience to say your talk was about?
Often the most distracting things about a speaker are the things they have no idea they are doing. It might be the repetition of a word. It might be how loud or how soft their voice is. Maybe its the microphone and its bugs, that is stopping the audience from hearing them. A spelling mistake in their slides. The best way to check for distractions is to do your presentation in front of a friend. You could record it and ask someone to give you feedback. Take the time to eliminate distractions.
What do you do that is distracting?
Do your best to bring original content, that has been applied in your own life. Don’t copy someone else’s talk, style or story. Don’t rehash a book you have read. Sink into your own experience and bring something unique. Find the gold within your own life. It will make all the difference to bring your unique to the platform.
What makes you different from others?
The best way to be interesting is to be interested in others. A public speaker can collect stories and insights from an interesting life. However, if we spend our days in a narcissistic pursuit of our own self-interests, we lose sight of the perspective gained through others. Be interested in the audience. Ask them what they are looking for? Stand and talk with people before your presentation gaining insight on the room. Look into their eyes and seek out who is in the room and what they are needing.
Who is your audience and are you interested in them?
Help people hear
There are four ways that you can improve the way people hear your voice. One the speed at which you speak. Play around with it, be as natural as possible and bring light and shade. The volume at which you speak. Ask a friend whether you are a loud talker or a soft speaker, is there clarity in the pronunciation of words. Thirdly your high inflections at the end of your sentances or low inflections. This is when your sentences are like a dance. The movement within them either brings height, depth, emotion or disconnection. Lastly, how do you take a deep breath and highlight words that are imperative to your overall presentation. Moments of rest. Moments of silence. Speed.
What one of these traits do you need to work on as a speaker?
Never go over time. Ever. Use a stopwatch or your phone. Practise your timing and if possible try to keep your talk to less than 18 minutes. The attention span of our culture is increasingly decreasing. Hold their attention. Leave them with an application and get off the stage!
How can you deliver on time?
The best presenter is the one who is most like themselves off stage. Don’t use a different voice, a different accent. Try to find a way to magnify the person you are in your everyday. Don’t mimic or copy what others are doing. Sink into your own story and be you.
How can you learn more about yourself so that you can be you onstage?
Hope these tips have helped you. Apply them and tell us below how you go…
Let’s grow together