I had the great opportunity to be invited to deliver a keynote at a Toastmasters Open House event last week.
After my speech, I received excellent responses from many of the
attendees. However, one attendee’s response caught me off guard. They
said that I didn’t do a “normal” speech like other Toastmasters’.
My first thought was “What is a normal speech?” But, then I realized
that many of these Toastmasters members have been caught up in the
“Toastmaster” way of life and have no idea what works in the “real”
world – especially when you’re out there trying to sell a product, a
service or simply an idea!
So, I thought I would share a few valuable speaking and presentation
tips culled from my 25+ years of experience and from a professional
associate of mine. These tips can not only help you sell your product,
service or ideas but, also make you a sought-after speaker. Have a look …
Typical is Boring.
Put yourself in your audience members’ shoes and understand that
“typical is boring.” Watching a performer take risks is exciting. The
best of the best break the rules. However, they don’t break the rules
just to break the rules. They break the rules to raise the stakes, to
get you to sit up and take notice. That is what makes you memorable. And
audiences will line up to see you. Remember, Simon Cowell of American
Idol fame? He was the highest paid, most-watched judge because he broke
the rules, and was far from normal. I’m not saying to go out there and
insult people. Just be different, stand out and get noticed.
One Key Message.
How much information do you think your audience can take home with them?
The problem with many speakers is they jam too much information into
their presentation. Just think of when you’ve watched other speakers. Do
they “drone” on and on, listing point after point after point of
information? Remember, your objective in any speech or presentation is
to get your audience to take away one (1) key point. That’s all! No one
will remember all the information you give out. So, make sure they take
away your key message. Throw in stories that help support your key
message. Make it fun. Make it lively. Just remember to get them to take
home your key message. And they will love you for it!
Entertain your Audience.
If people simply wanted information, they can find it on the internet or
any other source. They don’t need to listen to you. That’s why you must
remember, that one of your main responsibilities in speaking or
presenting is to entertain your audience and make your information
enjoyable to learn. So, cut out all the “crap.” Don’t say things like,
“Let’s get started.” The minute you are introduced, you’ve already
started. Similarly, don’t say things like “I’m going to tell you a
story.” Just tell it – in an interesting way of course! And remember,
just like writing, performing is often about cutting out the fat. If you
do streamline your message, you might start to think about your public
speaking as putting on a show, rather than giving a speech. And that
makes all the difference.
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J. Brett Abbey
The Message Master
Check out his website for more articles