When it comes to public speaking the one important attribute regardless of your audience is confidence. One of the best ways to develop confidence is through practice. When I started out as a speaker I had practiced hundreds of times in church. Not to mention that I would practice speaking went fro bike rides or as silly as it sounds mowing the yard.What I visualized most was changing lives. Yes, that sounds trite. It is true. For when I received an anonymous post card months after my first speech proclaiming how my words changed a persons misdirection it made my fear at the ti,me worth it. The more you practice the better you will become. By the way, when I lived in Utah I had quiet time with a top tier international speaker. He held in his hand a Pepsi. He said he had been trying to quit because of nerves. I was quite surprised having seen him speak countless times.
He said, after many years he was always nervous. So, my advice to you, your life is on the other side of that fear.
These four tips have really helped me along the way:
1. Know what your audience fears. This past weekend as I prepared for a DIY PR workshop for the Lady Project Summit in Providence, RI., I planned to include in my talk the basics of writing a pitch. But since the audience will be composed primarily of female small-business owners, I am going to spend some time addressing media-related issues that they are probably concerned about. From my past experience, entrepreneurs worry about a) receiving negative reviews or articles and b) if they are ready to be in the media spotlight.
When I speak to public-relations classes at colleges, students want to know not only if they can survive the real world of PR but also if they can find a job. So I always start my presentations by addressing this point.
People will pay more attention to you if they know you will help them overcome their fears.
2. Use personal mistakes. One of the best ways to connect with an audience is use your own life as an example. It adds a human touch, and people tend to believe you. When I talk about PR pitching, I always talk about the mistakes I have made (we all have made tons!), and what I learned from them. […]
Jim is president of InnoThink Group a human resources and leadership management consulting firm. He has an absolute passion for people development and are constantly refining and adapting his programs in order to ensure that they have the maximum impact on those we serve.