Speaking Tips to Make You a Professional
Judy Dippel’s Checklist of Advice for Speaking Growth and Preparation
Just begin speaking to groups:
- Speak whenever possible, about what you know and are passionate about
- Seek training you can trust – learn speaking techniques, but always be true to you
- Practice balanced messages – Points, Instruction, Experience, References (Ref. PIER—CLASS Services; Florence Littauer, Marita Littauer)
Things to consider and questions to ask of the person who contacts you to speak:
- Number of people expected? Demographics? Theme? Length of your presentation – type? (Keynote, interactive, workshop, inspirational, retreat, teaching, etc)
- Ahead of time, provide a written introduction to the person who introduces you.
- Will the audience be provided pens and paper?
- How is the room set up? Lighting? Type of microphone you prefer. (Visualize)
- Can you provide handouts? Does that work logistically for them? Do you need a flipchart, Power Point, other electronics, etc.?
- Dress of group? Dress professionally, but don’t wear a suit if audience will be wearing jeans.
- Do they have permission to record you? Can they sell recordings of your presentation?
- Can you sell your products? (Books, etc.) Will they provide person to help at the table?
POWER “P” Words for a Professional Presentation:
- Have a powerful beginning and ending
- Make your points have impact: Allow at least 10 minutes for each major point
- Pause: Pause instead of using filler words like, umm, and, uh, etc.
- Pace: Change your speaking pace and voice
- Express your personality and passion, and share personal anecdotes
- Don’t be phony: Audiences are smart, they recognize sincerity and transparency
- Props: Use them if they are comfortable for you—make your points “sink in.”
- Pray: For me, this is essential. I can’t do it without God’s provision.
Nervousness can be helpful, but fear is not —it limits you. Ideas to help you overcome fear:
Arrive ahead of time – talk to people as they come in; connect; chat with them.
Take focus off of yourself: Instead, think about what you are excited to tell them; visualize your success; imagine a person who will appreciate what you say; look in people’s eyes as you speak; see individuals (just like you), not a blob of people. Know they want you to succeed; don’t take yourself too seriously. Laugh!
Practice relaxation techniques before and during presentation: BREATHE, release tension! Move around naturally.
Suggestions: Consider using Mind Mapping Technique, created by Tony Buzan, rather than outlining.
I recommend the book, Present Yourself by Michael J. Gelb