Speak Like a Pro in Public
Even If You Are Shy, Nervous, Self-conscious or Think You Have Nothing New To Say...and Watch Your Profits Grow!
Public speaking is the most effective way to make people want what you've got. You will never get through to people as well through website, social media, video, email, etc. as you will in person.
However, public speaking is our #1 fear! I find it amazing that more people would rather jump out of a plane than speak to a room full of other human beings (physical peril rather than embarassment, seriously?) but I wasn't always able to do it, either. I was that kid in school who made the under-the-breath remark that got everyone laughing but no one could tell who started it. But from the front of the room, I was painfuly self-conscious.
Now I coach sales people, business owners, lawyers, executives and other coaches on public speaking and presenting. Whether you are as terrified as I was or just want to be sure you come across well and make your points effectively, I'd like to help.
In this report I’ll go over 10 simple yet very effective ways to make your next presentation one that gets through to your audience, gets the results you want and most of all, that you enjoy.
1. Give high value content
Even if you're just giving a free talk to promote your paid program, you have to deliver value. Your audience is giving you their time and attention and expects something of quality in return.
You don't have to give away the store. In your free talk, focus more on "what" and less on "how". You can't cover every topic in depth in one talk, anyway. So go broad and work on specific solutions in a closing Q&A or private follow-up sessions. But don't be afraid to share some experise. Generosity is attractive and besides, people will be more likely buy your books, spread the word or sign up to work with you if they've gotten a taste of what you can really do for them.
2. Create an experience that produces a result
What makes a good presentation topic? If your audience could get as much from reading an article or report as they will from being there, write it and stay home! For the love of all that is holy, please don't prepare very wordy slides and simply read them aloud while everyone sits there.
For a topic to be worthy of an in-person presentation, you need to give them an experience that changes their perspective. It has to make a difference that they are hearing your information in the company of others and that they can ask questions and hear the questions and comments of others. This is how your material comes alive, when people actively relate to their own circumstances. When they see how your work helps with their situation, they are much more likely to work with you in the future.
3. Don’t overload your audience
High value is not the same thing as high volume! Your audience may get more value when your range is narrower. Cramming too much content into a one-hour evening presentation is like making them drink from a fire hose. They won’t appreciate it and they won’t retain it.
You want the information to seep in and make them want more. You might well have 2 or 3 presentations in the one you’re thinking of doing now. Develop each one instead of skimming over all the topics. Go narrow and deep to create lasting value.
4. Vary your approach
People take in information in different ways. To reach everyone in the room, be sure you include something in all teaching styles – Visual, Auditory and Experiential. Auditory is usually the easiest, since you’ll be talking for at least part of the presentation. Manage auditory distractions, like sounds coming from the next room, or setting up chairs in a way that could encourage cross-talk rather than focus.
Your visual component can be flip charts, props, slides, video - be creative! Don’t darken the room unless you want nap time!
The experience component is where you give your audience a way to see what you're talking about for themselves. This is when your message really sinks in. You can pair people up for an exercise, bring one person to the front of the room as an example, or have them do it themselves. It doesn’t need to be lengthy. Just don’t leave it out.
5. Have someone introduce you
Bring your own introduction. Even if the person introducing you knows you well, they may not know all your relevant credentials. If there won't be anyone there to introduce you, bring along a friend. This will give you a moment to center yourself before you go “on”, so that you aren’t rushed. No matter how prepared you are, how small the group is, or how well you know your material, you’ll have some interesting physical sensations in the moments before you begin. Give yourself that minute to breathe and let go of tension.
A good introduction gives you credibility. Your audience will get more value from your presentation when they recognize how lucky they are to be there with you, while you’re still doing relatively small presentations!
6. Stand out!!
Remember that you are the entertainment. Don't be drab! For example, if you wear a white shirt in front of a white screen, you will look like a floating head.
Contrast creates immediate presence. If possible, check out the space in advance, or at least get a description of the room. Stay away from tan and beige and wear a richer color, something you look good in. Believe me, this will do half the work for you.
7. Make your point with a story
It’s so much more interesting than endless facts. Data is abstract and people often can’t grasp see how it will help them in their own situation. Illustrate your point with a story about a client or a customer or a colleague or even a plain old person. You can use yourself as an example sometimes, but with care. More about that in point #8.
8. Talk about yourself a little bit
Your audience wants to know about you, but honestly, not all that much. At the beginning of your program they want to know you’re qualified to be there, that you can help them and maybe that you’ve experienced some of what they are going through if that’s applicable. They might want to know how you came to do what you do, but only if it helps them in some way.
The audience thinks you owe them your attention, not the other way around. They came out in the cold, they missed the movie, they’re taking a chance that you know your stuff, they’re stepping into something new, they don’t know if you’ve got a hard sell coming, etc. You do need to share a little bit up front, but if you’ve got a personal story to illustrate your material save it for later in the presentation, after you’ve earned their trust.
9. Tell them about your other offerings
If your presentation is free, nobody will resent your getting something out of it. Plus, if your presentation is good, they’ll want to know what else you’ve got. How much more can you support them?
Let them know how you can serve them more, but it should not be more than 10% of your presentation. So if you’ve got an hour, 10-15 minutes on your books and programs is enough. Then stay afterwards to answer personal questions and to sign people up for consultations with you at a later date. Do your plug after a short break, then give your last section of material.
If you are presenting in a venue that does not permit you to sell anything, that's ok. You can raffle off a ticket to your next event or read from your book, thereby bringing your offerings to the audience’s attention.
10. Focus on relationship and confidence will take care of itself
Do you wish you had more confidence and think that if you did you would be a better speaker? That isn't necessarily the case. We all compare ourselves to certain images and fall short, but your audience doesn’t care about those images or about how great you are. They really just care about their own concerns. If you connect with what they’re going through and actually care about their resolving those problems, it will take you out of your own head. It shifts you from the head to the heart. Instead of analyzing or being self-consciousness, you’ll be able to connect with your compassion. When you feel compassionnate, you will automatically be confident! It's the damndest thing.
If you've enjoyed this report, please give me your feedback. Which tip was the most useful to you?
If you would like personal coaching on your presentation or speech, I would be happy to discuss that with you. Please contact me at email@example.com, or call (973) 600-5404.
But wait, there’s more! I just couldn’t leave these out.
Bonus Tip #1! Take a quick physical break every 20 minutes. Studies have shown that people lose attention within 20 minutes, if not sooner. Give your audience something simple and physical to do. Even introducing themselves to neighbors on either side will refresh their energy and make the next section go far better than just plowing through.
Bonus Tip #2! Present in your own style. You don’t have to do it like anyone else. It’s more important to be like yourself than to be like the audience. If you aren’t corporate, don’t wear a blue suit. You can still respect their dress code and have a look they can relate to without losing your own style.
If you aren’t high energy, do it your way, but manage the energy in the room. If you aren’t funny, don’t feel compelled to tell jokes. The more you value who you are and do it your way, the more the audience will give you their attention. Authenticity is riveting!
I hope you’ve enjoyed “Speak Like A Pro In Public”. Which tip did you find the most useful or interesting - whether you've had a chance to try it out yet or not? Do you have any questions I didn't cover in this report?
Email your comments and questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get back to you within a day, two at most.
I look forward to hearing from you!