Have you ever had to speak in front of a group? Think you need verbal communication skills training? I never minded public speaking but it can be a bit nerve-wracking. My advice is to always have notes! A list does wonders.
Whether it be at an important conference for work or in front of your peers for a toast — there will be a time in your life when you will have to address an audience. Before your palms get all sweaty — here’s a checklist from a pro on how to handle yourself. Mark Grimm is a former news anchor turned public speaking mentor.
by Mark Grimm
It is exhilarating to feel in command when speaking in public. Yet no one is born with that gift. Dynamic speaking is an acquired skill that everyone can develop. Here are nine tips that can help make you dynamic:
1. Know Your Audience: Do your homework before you get anywhere near the podium. What is the audience looking for?
2. Confront the Fear of Speaking: Crystallize what it is you fear. Write your fears down. That’s the first step in overcoming them.
3. Focus on Clarity: Don’t pile a bunch of information into the presentation and call that a speech. Peel away the onion and present only the things that matter.
4. Remember “It’s Not About You, It’s About Them:” Find out what the key takeaways are for the audience and deliver them in a compelling way.
5. Engage the Audience: Don’t make it a lecture. Engage the audience and tap into their collective wisdom.
6. Be Passionate: If you are not excited about your material, why would anyone else be?
7. Ask for Feedback: Feedback is gold. Always ask for it.
8. Never Stop Improving: Never be satisfied as a speaker. Continue to seek ways to improve and be open to new technology.
9. Have Fun: Speaking isn’t a chore, it’s a chance to help people. Have fun. It’s contagious.
Former TV news anchor Mark Grimm is a dynamic entrepreneur, professional speaker, award-winning trainer, author, radio host and on-camera/voiceover performer. Mark Grimm Communications is a leading upstate NY public speaking training, media relations, political consulting and message strategy firm. More on these tips available in Mark’s book.