Can We Talk: Public Speaking Strategies

Speak Up!By Denise Turney

Speaking in public is an effective way to grow your career or your business. For entrepreneurs, the right presentation can create enthusiasm in listeners that generates word-of-mouth buzz about you, your products and/or services. You will build trust in listeners if you deliver your message with confidence. By organizing the substantive and visual aspects of your presentation, you will leave the audience with the feeling that they learned something that can have a useful, positive impact on their lives.

Write several drafts of your speech. Look for anecdotes in your own life that can make your information more interesting. Make sure that you introduce yourself and explain how you came to be an expert in your area. Stay on subject. Record yourself and listen to the tape to plan your inflections. Some organizations, like Toastmasters have local “meet-up” events that allow you to connect with other professionals who are developing their public speaking skills.

Two to three days before the event, contact the organizer to confirm your attendance liaise with the organization’s technology representative to make sure that you know what you need to bring—

will a laptop be provided for PowerPoint presentations? Will someone be on hand if you need assistance with equipment?

On the day of your speaking engagement, arrive in time to give the organizers time to greet you and orientate you to the program. Make sure to leave time at the end of the session to answer questions, offer brief consultations or hold book/product sign- ings or sales.

At the end of the engagement, send a follow-up “thank you” email or note to the organizers.

For more information about public speaking or learnng ways to refine your presentation abilities, there are many resources available online. These include: http://www.toastmasters.org/tips.asp http://www.public-speaking.org http://www.school-for-champions.com/speaking.htm http://www.leadersinstitute.com/public-speaking/ Denise Turney is a freelance writer. She is online at www.chistell.com

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