How many conferences do you usually attend per year? Now, how many do you actually remember? You’d be surprised of how much the speaker – content excluded – represent in this impact: more than 80%!
Notice the people in your everyday life: there are the ones who fill the room with their amazing personality in business meetings and social gatherings. On the other side, there are other smart people who can’t seem to be catching any attention. Nor they have any idea why.
Are great speakers born with this “je-ne-sais-quoi”? Well, I have great news for you: personality plays a role, but everybody needs the right keys to public speaking impact in classes interventions and conferences. And yes! I’m thrilled to share 5 major ones with you, based on personal experience:
1. Get to know your audience
You’re about to share your experience and point of view on a certain topic. Show interest to get interest! Ask for your audience profile: gender, age range, education background and working industry if they’re professionals, before preparing for the intervention. Based on the topic you’ll be presenting, give practical examples they can relate to. Problem solving is so impactful. Before you start presenting and if it’s a small committee, it’s always engaging to ask each attendee to write their name on a paper to address them during the intervention and the Q&A session.2. Prepare bullet points, not A to Z detailed content
A speaker personality wins when one is genuine, spontaneous. Content comes second, can you believe it? The human brain responds to emotions. You don’t have to memorize or read a text, that’s not how it works. It will be inevitably monotonous. Hence, you will miss the purpose. List the different points to tackle during the presentation, and let it flow like a story. A great way to win it quickly: practice!3. Stimulate the 5 senses
It builds on what I stated earlier: the human brain responds to emotions. Once you start the storytelling, use strategic visual elements if you’re talking about a campaign you launched; if you’re discussing fashion trends, have a mood board prepared with a mix of fabrics that the attendees will touch and feel; if you want to make a metaphor about an experience, pass around shortbread biscuits so they can get the idea of how good it was. You see? Creativity combined with storytelling is so impactful too.4. It’s about body language, baby
Did you watch Barack Obama, Steve Jobs, or even Donald Trump speeches at one point? These personalities have one thing in common: body language skills. Specialized mentors train many. They teach them how to focus on the power zone (chest) when moving their hands and arms, walk smoothly to mark a turning point from one stage angle to another, and other skills which played a major role in impacting and convincing their audience.5. Leave an inspirational mark
You’ve done your presentation’s summary at the end. You’ve answered the Q&A. But you’re not reading this article to do things commonly, right? Share a more intimate experience with your audience, like an insightful tip your boss once gave you. Tell them how you overcame a challenge they can relate to. Propose a draw and select one attendee to offer them an inspirational book.
So, that was fun! I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it. Never forget that speaker impact skills come with practice, and that you have everything in you to get it out there!
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