Author, Educator and Entrepreneur Shiv Khera, talked to The The Afternoon D&C about 'How To Be A Powerful Public Speaker and Presenter'
Persuasion skills are very essential to carry out good leadership. It is one of the greatest components in public speaking. Its the ability to influence, convince, negotiate, and sell. All of us, at some point of time or the other, have gone through a situation where we had to say a few words in public and we got cold feet.
Some of the greatest public speakers were the greatest disasters when they started. The good news is that we can all learn to be effective Public Speakers. Making effective presentations is critical to achieve success in this field in life.
The best product or service, if not presented properly, is useless. There are many advantages to being a powerful speaker. One of them is that you are perceived as a leader and an expert in your field. Second is that you can leverage your position effectively.
Public Speaking comprises of the following three F’s - Flair, Flow and Facts
Flair – When you are on the platform, your presentation must have vitality. It cannot to be bland. You are not an entertainer or performer, but your presentation must have flair.
Flow – There must be a structure or order in which your presentation goes, otherwise people lose track.
Facts – Whatever you say from the platform goes into public domain. No matter what you say, you must have your facts right in order to gain credibility.
The following are some steps to being an Effective Public Speaker:
Clarify expectation in advance:
Ask your hosts what is the ‘end result’ they are looking for upon completion of your presentation. The clarity of the end result would decide your contents.
Do not make more than three points:
Why? Less than three is too little, more than three are too much. Don’t question the power of three. Somehow three points stick. It is an odd number; odd numbers stick better then even numbers.
Use Simple Language:
Keep your presentation at 6th grade level. Use simple day to day words that can be understood easily. Don’t use jargon, slang or words that are difficult to understand. The idea is to express and not impress. The audience being impressed is a natural outcome of a good presentation.
Don’t pretend and put on a false mask. Just be honest and sincere. Being yourself does not mean that you become casual. Being casual displays indifference or arrogance. People hate both.
Go Well Prepared:
Practice, Practice and Practice. There is no substitute to preparation. The audiences can tell whether you have come prepared or not. An unprepared speaker wastes their audiences’ time. This amounts to breach of trust in the literal sense. Audiences invest their time and come to listen to you out of trust. When that trust is broken, they feel cheated. Remember, time is more precious than money.
Have a strong opener:
Why? How much time do you have to grab your audience’s attention? About 30 seconds. If you have not got their attention within 30 seconds, you have lost them. Most powerful speakers have very strong openings.
Have a strong close:
Why are strong openings and closes crucial to a good presentation? Because, they leave a long lasting impression. Impressions stick in the mind whereas, contents are lost.
Always close with a ‘call to action’:
Every speech must close with a very strong and specific call to action. A call to action makes you a leader, otherwise you are only an information provider. If your speech does not end with a call to action, then you are only a loud speaker not a good public speaker.
The above are only few essentials of a good public speaker. Good Public Speaking needs a lot of practice. Just like you cannot play the Davis Cups by playing Tennis casually once a month, it takes a lot of practice to become a good speaker. Just remember that some of the greatest masters, when they started, were the greatest disasters. Yes! You can learn to speak with Power, Poise and Pizzazz.