Public Speaking by David Harris

How many of you read the tips on Public Speaking that Jordan Metzger sent us from David Harris?

For the rest of us, let me paraphrase, because it pertains to public speaking and also making a sales pitch to your prospects:

(1) Know Your Audience. Keep in mind at all times the distinctive characteristics of your audience, why you are there and why they want to hear you.

(2) Make Sure Your Audience Knows That You Know Who They Are. Every audience wants to feel validated, recognized, acknowledged. Letting them know that you know them, or are well acquainted with them, their mission and their brand, will show you have done your homework.

(3) Speak About Things You Know, Not Things You Don’t. You are more confident and conversant on the things you are expert on and you don’t have to rely upon notes. You can also handle the question-and-answer portion sure-footedly when you are on firm and familiar soil.

(4) Avoid Written Texts Whenever Possible. Reading your presentation word for word creates a barrier between the speaker and the audience, as it forces the speaker to look down, and thus break eye contact with those in the room. It is best to jot down a few key words, prompts, names, quotes, and to practice ahead of time letting the audience see your eyes looking at them, not looking down.

(5) Speak From The Head And The Heart. Audiences value a combination of reason, analysis, and passion. Indeed, passion that is genuine, not feigned, can make the difference between a good and a great speech. It can rally audiences and motivate them to act.

(6) Don’t Take Self-Deprecation Too Far. It is OK to be charming or endearing but it may inadvertently undermine your credibility and effectiveness.

(7) Humor Is Fine If You’re At Ease With It. Humor can be a way to connect with the audience if you are comfortable with it, but there are other ways to create a personal bond with the audience such as; passion, emotion or personal stories that is so important to the success of any speech.

(8) Be Conscious Of Your Voice And Body Language. Don’t come across as monotonous or rigid. Engage the audience quickly, perhaps raising and lowering your voice, injecting energy into what you say, using your hands as extenders of your words, and shifting your gaze and stance to see the entire room, and not just one person or one part of the audience.

(9) Your Job Is To Speak. The Audience’s Job Is To Listen. But finish speaking before the audience or prospect stops listening. We all want audiences wishing we had gone on for another few minutes rather than wishing we had stopped sooner.

(10) Seek Honest Feedback. Hopefully there is someone in the room whom you can ask for an honest assessment to improve our speaking ability and presentation style. Was I effective in getting my points across, etc? Caring, constructive critique is one of the best gifts we can ever give or receive.

……..uh, so how was I?

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