I’m blessed to work with clients who want to increase their visibility and take their message to the next level. They understand that public speaking – or speaking from the stage – allows them an opportunity to reach a bigger audience, have more impact and connect on a deeper and more personal level.
That said, many speakers who haven’t had the privilege to work with Toastmasters, or practice with a private coach or mentor, may feel anxious in front of a room and stop themselves by not sharing their message because of fear of going blank, looking stupid or freezing on stage. I’ve had all those fears and still take a deep breath and ground myself (as best as possible) before every presentation.
Yes, it does get easier after every speech – and with practice – but it’s always helpful to learn speaker success secrets along the way. Here are a few I’d like to share:
5 Speaker Tips to Take You to the Top
- Divide the room into three, and pick one person in each section to look at. This will allow you to connect eye to eye with at least 3 people in the audience, but also give you an opportunity to scan the room. Think of each of these three people as your friends. They like you. They want you to succeed. Let them feel that.
- Put some energy into your smile. Showcase your personality. Even if you feel like you’re ‘putting it on’, overdeliver. Audiences typically have chosen to hear you and want to see that you’re not only an expert, but also enjoy your topic, are informative and in some cases, entertaining. You can be a boring speaker, or an upbeat one. Ask me, I’ll tell you that upbeat trumps boring, any day of the week.
- Have a kick to your step. When you walk on stage, come in from the side of the room (so people aren’t looking at your backside, lovely as that may be). Let the audience know you’re enthusiastic about speaking to them. Movement, except jiggling change in pockets, helps a speaker relax and look more experienced as they address the audience from different angles of the room.
- Go with the flow. I once spoke in front of 200 people and the wrong presentation came up on screen. At first I was horrified, then laughed and acknowledged my shock to the audience. I’m grateful that they laughed too, seeing my vulnerability. The moment of truth came, I showed up fully and got 3 new clients. Phew!
- Give to the audience. Offer to share your presentation. Promote a special offer to connect with them on social media. Ask for their support — you’ve got the stage! This may be the first time you personally engage with them, but it doesn’t have to be the last. Remember that members of your audience could one day be prospects or clients – and refer you to other revenue generating activities.
Above all, be grateful and appreciative for the opportunity to be in front of a willing audience who is there to hear your message. Practice does make perfect, but you’ll never know your full potential and power if you don’t put yourself out there.
Do you practice a ‘lucky’ routine before every speaking engagement? Care to share?
Who is your favorite at home audience? Your iPhone, kids, or BFF?
How do you pamper yourself before and after a speech?
Speak your truth, share your voice, and show up 100%.