Top Tips from Professional Speakers
Here are top tips on professional speaking from Associates, Members and Fellows of the Professional Speaking Association.
“Carry a note book & pen around with you at all times, so that you can Capture Your Creativity” Kenny Harris
After your talk is finished always close the loop with the organiser. Arrange a meeting or phone call to gather feedback and to say how much your enjoyed speaking at their event. You will learn and get more bookings.
Always be MAD not SAD. Be Magnificent and Dazzling instead of Satisfactory and Dull. Remember to entertain your audience.
Always be thinking: how can I be more creative with my performance and my materials, to do it differently, better, to keep it innovative and exciting?
Always go beyond and give more than your clients (paying or not) are expecting.
Always speak to deadline.
Appreciate your audience’s time as a gift to you; take them on a journey and leave them with a gem to treasure.
Lubna Gem Arielle
Ask – will they remember your key message in 3 days/weeks/months’ time?
Ask yourself, why would anyone book you?
Be congruent, authentic and honest.
Be EPIC – Excellent Preparation Is the key to Confidence; know your speech and audience, venue location, when you’re on, how long you are speaking for, and check the tech.
Tanya E Mann Rennick
Be the greatest and easiest speaker a planner has had to work with.
Before you start worrying about marketing or branding or media strategies, you must have GREAT core content.
Check your “you – I” ratio when rehearsing. People are not interested in what you have done – they are interested in what they can do with the information / the message.
Connect first. No one cares what you know ’til they know that you care.
Engage with the audience, deliver with enthusiasm, fill the room with your energy, tell great stories and enjoy the moment.
Ensure your rehearsal includes your opening sentence, your closing sentence, your entry to the performing area and your exit too.
Expect the unexpected.
Find a niche market (Financial Services, Public Service, Telecoms, Travel etc) or area of focus (Creativity, Inspiration, Sales etc). It is better to find a narrow but deep niche than a wide but shallow marketplace.
Finish your talk at the time you are asked to.
Get a mentor from PSA and learn from the best.
Get off to a flying start with your speech by handing a printed copy of your introduction to the compere which says who you are, what you are talking about and what’s in it for the audience.
Get out of your own way – It is not about You, Your role is to serve your audience – make it about them!
Get yourself into the right frame of mind to speak to the audience prior to stepping out in front of the lights.
Go to the venue well before allotted time and make sure your technology is working (always think at a plan B just in case something is crashing).
If in doubt, don’t!
If using images make sure they are the best quality and own the rights to them – your own photographs are always best.
If you can’t say it in two minutes, you can’t say it in ten!
Inject your DNA – your Delivery style, your knowledge of your Niche and your Authenticity – this way you will be remembered for all the right reasons.
It’s not about perfection, it’s about connection.
Join a Toastmasters Group, “the off Broadway of speaking” to continue to hone your craft!
Join the PSA and take part in as many meetings, masterclasses and conventions as possible to learn from the experts.
Keep to your allotted time. Make sure you can easily see a clock from the stage (not on your wrist).
Know your message – be your message.
Know your purpose for speaking. Are you speaking to serve others or to serve yourself? Speakers that place the needs of their audience first are simply better speakers.
Leave your ego at the door and speaks with your heart.
Sylvia Perreault Conférencière
Look after your voice; soothe your throat with a spoonful of liquid glycerine in hot water and a few drops of natural rose extract.
Lubna Gem Arielle
Measure success not in terms of traditional business ROI, but ROE… your Return On Engagement.
No matter how much you’ve slowed down your delivery, you probably need to be slower.
Own who you are on stage. Take everything you do – good, bad or otherwise – and give it more energy and SELL it to the audience. If you don’t know how to do this, take an improv class or spend 50 nights in a karaoke bar.
Practice alone does not make you perfect so make sure you get informed honest feedback from experienced speakers.
Primacy & Recency – catch them in the first 4 seconds, leave them on a high. On memory recall the stuff in the middle is usually a bit foggy – not a lot, but a bit.
Rather than your assessment of the past, or your predictions for the future, what audiences really want is your unique take on the present.
Rehearse one hour for each minute you will be on stage.
Remember practice makes improvement. Control the pace of your speech as though you are breathing so it becomes effortless over time with ‘Consistent and Never Ending Improvement’ (C.A.N.I.).
Simple language (accurate, brief and clear) helps you create action, boldness & credibility.
Slides, if needed, should be billboards not documents.
Speak authentically or forever hold your peace.
Take a look at yourself in the mirror and say ‘the rest are as insecure, unsure of themselves and just as much a quivering wreck as I am so we’re equal whatever I think right now.’
Talk from your own experience…not from a book!
Tell your audience what you would like them to do.
The audience wants to love you, so give them your very best and they won’t be disappointed.
The very best material….is your own.
To keep the words and content flowing, fill your mouth with saliva because when your mouth is dry your brain shuts down.
Visibility + Credibility = Bookability.
Visualise you speaking in front of the audience before you take the platform: think positive.
What you do on the platform is only the tip the speaking iceberg. It is what you do “backstage” in your business and in preparation that matters the most.
What’s your objective, what do you want your audience to know, do, feel as a result of your presentation?
When you are on stage nothing but your audience matters give them 100%.
You speak in order to bring benefit and value to your audience not to massage your own ego.
Your next speech (paid or not) should be the best of your speaking career so far.
You’re not being paid for your speech, but for the value you leave behind after you’ve spoken.