Dot Bekker - Entrepreneur Strategist

Dot Bekker works with Entrepreneurs to build, develop and grow their business success with proven strategies.

Public Speaking

When you're an Entrepreneur there may be times when you're asked to speak publicly and certainly is one of the ways to become better know and to promote your business.  

But, what if you're not accustomed to public speaking?  We've all heard that it is the number one fear and causes stress, but it really doesn't have to be.  If you've ever spoken to a small group of people, at a networking event, presented your business at your network or done any teaching.

Recently a client asked me to give her my top tips for speaking so I thought I would share them here so that more of you may benefit.

Authentic - Be yourself, bring yourself to the stage and don't try to imitate anyone else – authenticity is what will make people trust you.  Tell people 'your story' how you came to be there.  Stories are powerful ways to connect with people.

Apologise - If you get it wrong, apologise, people will forgive you – often people try to cover up a mistake or lose their track, it's better to just admit anything when or if it goes wrong. Don't be-labour it, just say it in a light way that you got it wrong or something went wrong and move on.

Confidence - You are at the front of the room and everyone else is in the audience, if they could do what you're going to do then they would be at the front of the room. You are there to share and lead, people are there to be informed and be led … be sure to do that. 

Information – It's important that people know what you are going to do and what they will walk away with in terms of knowledge and information. 

Prepare – Write out what you're going to say and practice it until you can distill the notes down to a few comments on cue cards to keep you on track. People don't like seeing someone speaking from a piece of paper.  Once you have your speech, practice, practice, practice.

Introduce and Summarise - if you have been introduced be sure to thank the introducer and again state who you are and if you have a brief personal story related to your topic this is that time to present it to warm the audience up to you.  When you finish be sure to thank everyone who make it possible for you to be there.  If you are using slides be sure to end with a slide that informs people how they can be in touch with you should they want to do that, nothing is more frustrating than not having the chance to speak to the presenter and not knowing how to reach them.

BONUS TIP - be aware of your non-verbal communication - use cards to prompt you through your speech (don't read the slides or your speech), keep your head up and make eye contact with as many people as you can, don't fidget it conveys a lack of confidence.  

Don't be afraid of public speaking, it's an ideal opportunity to promote your business and the people attending are there because they are interested.

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Friday, 25 September 2020