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Public Speaking As Easy As One, Two, Three

public speaking easyThree ways to become a public speaker

Public speaking is a great visibility vehicle. The power of the podium gives you instant credibility as an expert. The perfect clients filter themselves out of the audience and approach you about working together. In a 20 minute presentation you can reach 20 to 50 people at a networking event. Do you know how much that face to face exposure would cost in advertising dollars? Not only do you get to represent yourself for free you will get applause and a small gift as a thank you.

So why aren’t more people doing it? It might have something to do with the ‘I’d rather die than give a speech’ reaction most people have with public speaking. But if the lure of the applause and the magic of making an audience laugh, while building your business appeals to you even the tiniest bit then let’s give you some tool to make speaking easy.

Step 1: Find something interesting to say

Part of the reason that each of us dislikes public speaking is because we remember a time we were held hostage by a very boring speaker. Our fear stems from our desire to never be that person. Since no one has ever told as how not to be boring we automatically assume that we will be. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Start by finding something interesting to say. How do you do that? One way is to look at your most frequently asked questions. What do people often ask you when they meet you?

Another way is to go back to beginner’s mind and rediscover what you found interesting about the topic before you became an expert. What fascinated you about the topic and sparked your curiosity?

My favorite way is to think of a problem you have solved and break it into a 5-step solution process. This creates a very useful how-to presentation that your audience will love. Put these five steps on a one-page handout that includes your contact info and you have a terrific take away that people might share with others.

Step 2: Say it in an interesting way.

You know interesting doesn’t mean that you have to make your presentation while standing on your head, drinking a glass of water. It does mean putting some thought into what you are going to say and do while you have the audiences’ attention. I have a simple 3 x 3 formula that is guaranteed to make your presentation interesting.

AMR’s 3 x 3 method for interesting presentations.

People love stories. So start by thinking of three stories that you can tell to illustrate your points. Three real life stories from you or your clients or even some that you might have heard. You want to tell the story to illustrate the point so you will need detail, just don’t over do it. People especially love stories where we ‘tell’ on ourselves. Spice your stories with humor, by punching up the funny bits.

Next think of three demonstrations that you could do. What three physical demonstrations could you do on stage to help amplify the information you’re sharing. Don’t just tell people what you want them to see – show them. A demonstration could be an actual experiment, a graph, a picture, a flowchart, an actual product, a smell, or a sound or even a memento. Demonstrations serve as a memory tool, helping you to deliver your presentation without notes and the give the audience something to look at other than you.

Now map out your presentation. Give yourself two to four minutes for your opening and close and the rest for the body of the presentation. Let’s say that you have 20 minutes to speak and 3 points that you want to share. Your outline might look like this:

Opening 2 minutes
Point 1 5 minutes (story and demo)
Point 2 5 minutes (story and demo)
Point 3 5 minutes (demo and story)
Close 3 minutes

Always leave yourself enough time. An audience loves a speaker who ends early! People often ask me if I memorize my speeches and the honest answer is no. I memorize the opening and the close and know the body of my material so well that I could deliver it in the drop of hat.

Step 3: Deliver it with respect.

All right, you have something interesting to say and you have an interesting way to say it the next step is to simply deliver your presentation with respect.

Remember the golden rule? Well now is definitely a time to call that to mind. Always present yourself to an audience in a way that you would like to be presented to. That simple. Treat your audience with respect.

  • Be well dressed and groomed
  • Know your time limit and stay within
  • Know your material
  • Don’t apologize to the audience for being nervous or anything like that – it makes them feel sorry for you.
  • No offensive material
  • Don’t speak to fast or too slow, too loud or too soft
  • Smile and have fun!

If you want to start to use speaking as a way to be seen and heard approach your local service clubs and see if they have a need for a speaker. Once you put the word out there that you are willing to speak for free people will find you and ask you to present. Public Speaking as easy as 1,2,3!

About Anne-Marie Rennick

Have you ever head the statistic that 75% of businesses fail within their 1st year and 50% of all remaining businesses fail within 5 years? Well Anne-Marie Rennick, is a Coach and Speaker who is deeply committed to changing that statistic. Working with entrepreneurs and small business owners she helps them uncover their own simple plans for success.


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