I know you. You are among those small business owners who would love to share your knowledge but need some easy public speaking tips to get you started. Right?
And why wouldn’t you? After all, I’ve already showed you 10 reasons why public speaking is important to small business owners like you.
But public speaking is not your core skill and neither is it what your set up your business to do, like me.
So what’s the solution?
I’m giving you these 10 easy public speaking tips to jumpstart your public speaking and encouraging you to also develop strong assertiveness skills.
Because I really want these tips to motivate you, I’ve divided them into 3 key areas:
1) Deciding to speak
2) Preparing to speak
3) Delivering your speech
So if you’re ready, let’s dive right in.
Easy Public Speaking Tips for Deciding to Speak…
1. Know that you’re entitled to speak
You absolutely are!
Many of my clients come to me because they really want to share what they know, so they can make a difference at least in their business environment.
So what’s holding them back?
They believe that since they are not from “X social class” or have “Y degree” they have no right to speak.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
What is true is that you have built a successful business or developed a unique process that could help your colleagues. It is more important to help them, than to worry about social class or “big-up” qualifications.
Furthermore, when you speak from a place of knowledge and experience, you give yourself a chance to build strong business relationships.
I really want you to embrace this reality. Not only is it profound as easy public speaking tips go, it can really boost your confidence as well.
Know that your audience is waiting to hear your ideas and you have a right to share them!
2. Understand your fear of public speaking
Pay no attention to my unenlightened friend who declared “there’s nothing to understand about fear of public speaking! Yuh just frightened for it!”
You see, over many years of coaching and training in public speaking, I am very clear that fear of public speaking does not even exist.
The reality is that having to stand up and speak before an audience releases a whole lot of hidden fears, which we blame on poor public speaking.
Don’t believe me? This article explains fear of public speaking and how to fix it.
3. Ask these questions when you’re invited to speak formally
Once you start speaking, you will be invited to speak to “formal” audiences.
When the invitations start flowing in, it’s a good idea to learn something about the speaking event that you are going to be part of.
Here are some questions I usually ask for myself:
- In what capacity am I being invited?
- What is my topic?
- How long will I be required to speak?
- Who is speaking before me?
- Exactly where will the event be in the location?
- do you have a dress code?
- Can I bring my partner?
- Can I have the contact details for someone to liaise with?
- Any other questions that will make you comfortable…
Remember, a formal speaking situation is different from speaking impromptu.
So finding out some relevant information about a speaking event helps you to feel comfortable even before you speak.
Easy Public Speaking Tips for Preparing to Speak…
4. Know your audience
The really big question you must answer before you speak is:
Who am I speaking to?
To answer this, you have to engage in some audience analysis.
Finding out some specifics about your audience before you talk to them, helps you to better meet their needs with your speech.
And on top of that, it reduces your nervousness and increases your confidence when you eventually speak.
Here are some sample questions that you can use to help you get to know your audience better:
- What is special about this group?
- What are their wants and needs?
- What will turn them on or off?
- What will inspire them to take action?
- What do they expect from my presentation?
- How can I exceed their expectations?
- What are some of their biggest challenges and problems?
- What successes have they had that I can comment on?
I consider audience so important that in my “Top Level Speaker” training and coaching, I show my clients how to move beyond mere audience analysis and really OWN their audience.
If you’re interested, you can get some insights in this post on how to deliver a top-level persuasive speech.
5. Have a clear, simple, key message
No set of easy public speaking tips would be complete without this one.
A clear message, contained in a simple statement, is like the compass to your speech.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say you’re invited to speak on the topic “Working From Home”. What would your message be?
Well, it could be something like “Working from home is not always the wonderful situation it is made out to be!”
If you’re clear about your message, then you can build your speech to support that message.
You can also use it at the beginning of your speech, the end or anywhere throughout your speech.
A clear simple message allows you to “speak with certainty, and persuade with clarity.” according to author, Cam Barber.
Just remember that your message is never in the form of a question and it should be written exactly as you will share it.
6. Create a speech outline
Once you have your message, now you can create a speech outline.
When you create a speech outline, you’re actually using a simple method to arrange your thoughts.
As easy public speaking tips go, this one has many benefits. They include:
- helping you to focus on your ideas
- preventing you from procrastinating
- bringing structure to your speech writing and delivery
- reducing your level of anxiety
- serving as a checklist that you have selected the right ideas
You should finetune your speech outline so that it becomes a template for all your speeches. In this way you can write speeches much faster, using a method you can rely.
7. Practice your speech
Not long ago, I was sharing some of my easy public speaking tips with a group of young entrepreneurs. When I got to this one about practicing your speech, I was interrupted by “Jerry”.
I don’t speak a lot, Lorna, but when I do, I don’t practice. You see, I don’t want to sound rehearsed, I want to sound fresh and vibrant!” As he spoke, he was looking so pleased with himself.
Needless to say, I did one of my famous eye rolls. Maybe it works for you, Jerry…
But from my experience as a speaker, I know what happens when you don’t practice your speech. You worry about it and you don’t feel confident delivering it.
Practicing your speech also guarantees that your delivery is almost flawless and your focus is where it belongs…on pleasing your audience.
Here is a post in which I share 7 great tips for practicing your speech. Please check them out and use them to improve your delivery. Don’t be a Jerry!
Easy Public Speaking Tips for Delivering Your Speech…
8. Present yourself professionally
But I am asked about dressing professionally whenever I talk about easy public speaking tips. That’s why I have included “presenting yourself professionally” here.
Please note that it goes beyond dress.
But as it relates to dress, if you’re speaking informally, it’s a great idea to wear any logoed clothing you own. Just make sure they are clean, well ironed and not faded.
For more formal occasions, ask the host for guidance on any dress code.
In addition, you must also understand good business etiquette since failing to do so, could negatively affect your business.
Here is a post which shows you how to make a winning first impression. It should prove invaluable in helping you to present yourself professionally.
9. Deliver with style
Even as a newbie, you can deliver a presentation with a measure of style.
Here are some quick tips to help you do just that:
Be Yourself – This is not the time to assume some other persona or “speaking voice.”
Just relax – Speak clearly and use good grammar. Make your talk feel like enlarged conversation.
Don’t do the “pre-ramble” – You know…the story of how you come to be speaking at this function.
Be direct – Have a good opening (e.g your message statement) and proceed through your speech based on your outline.
Be enthusiastic – Let you audience know you’re happy to be there!
Stick to the time – It will make you the darling of the audience and the godsend of the host.
Be careful with humor – Unless you know how to do it otherwise it might be your undoing.
Learn to answer questions – This is very important since it gives you a further chance to demonstrate your expertise. Here’s a chance to learn how to answer the questions like a pro.
Embrace your nerves – They are normal. Focus on your audience and how much they want to hear what you have to say.
Employ the SSS approach – Stand up…Speak up…Shut up!
10. Don’t be afraid to move beyond the basics
There are many reasons why public speaking is important for small business owners, especially in your role as an influencer.
These easy public speaking tips are a good place to start but you should improve your public speaking as much as you can.
Perhaps you don’t know but the great billionaire Warren Buffet deeply believes:
All the brain power in the world won’t matter unless you have public speaking skills
So in case you missed it…
My point is that public speaking gives you a voice that will take you far beyond your day-to-day hard work.
So contact me and let’s get you speaking…NOW!