Public Speaking

Have you ever made a speech before an audience? Have you ever made a speech where you hoping to get leads from the audience? How did it go? I’ve been very successful getting coaching leads by speaking. I guess it’s because I like to run my mouth!

In order to learn how to run my mouth more effectively, I joined Toastmasters International. I highly recommend Toastmasters as a way to learn how to get up in front of others and gain the confidence to speak. I learned a lot at Toastmasters, and I want to share my story of how I became a more effective public speaker using what I learned.

I learned that attention spans are short and people are impatient, especially if a speech is on a subject they’re not interested in at first. The challenge is to get their attention anyway. To do this, I learned to tell real stories about my life that the audience could relate to, and tell them with passion. This built trust with the people in the audience because they could see I was just like them. If you can get people laughing, you can get them learning, so I also used humor. I eventually earned my Competent Toastmasters Award.

Over time I was able to make the content of my speech more engaging by asking questions instead of just making statements. By asking questions I was able to have a discussion with the audience. I always made sure that the claims I made were backed up with facts. This also built trust with my audience.

My next step to enhance my speeches was to learn how to use PowerPoint. The slides allowed me to put the events of my story in sequence so that my speech flowed naturally from beginning to end. I’ve found that telling stories has a better retention value for the audience over nothing but statistical facts, as they are harder to remember.

A PowerPoint presentation can divert attention away from you but if used properly can give you credibility and authenticity. My main approach is to have the audience focus on me and use the slides as reinforcement. To do this I use my slides to engage my audience.

Toastmasters taught me how to make my speeches fit a specific timetable by recording and timing them in advance. In each speech I create a sense of urgency and have a call to take action at the end. If you don’t give the audience a compelling reason to take action they won’t.

So here’s my call to take action – if public speaking is part of your job now, or if you would like it to be, you can learn to be a more confident, more effective public speaker. Contact me today and let me guide you on your journey to becoming the best public speaker you can be!