ten tips for speakers

1 Know your audience. Consider the demographics regarding age, culture, education and gender.

2 Decide what they need or want to know. Appeal to their interests, what will motivate, inspire or persuade them

3 State your main objective in today’s time stressed world people want to know what your core message is. Be brief and to the point or they will tune out and you will lose them.

4 Start with the end in mind what main idea, concept or message do you want them to walk out of the door with? Be focused

5 Organize accordingly. Have a clear plan. Open with an attention getter. Let the body of your talk support your main theme. Then end on a high note. Summarise and call for action. We often say, ‘Tell them what you are going to tell them, then tell them, and finally, tell them what you told them’

6 Help them to remember If a day or two after hearing your message, your audience can’t remember what you spoke on, who’s fault would that be? So, use relevant illustrations, stories and anecdotes. Remember that facts tell but stories sell

7 Be professional, start and end on time. Many speakers exhaust the audience before they have exhausted their topic. You can often say more by talking less. ‘The mind can only absorb what the seat can endure’

8 Prepare and practice. Prepare your message, learn to speak without notes, or use cue cards. Write down your opening statement, you’re main ideas and illustrations, your summary and a call for action. Proper Practice Produces Powerful presentations.

9 Overcome nervousness. When you are prepared, you are ready for action. Remember that your audience wants you to do well and to give a great presentation

10 Strive for excellence, get positive feed-back. Ask for evaluation after each talk you give, covering content, organization, delivery. Including use of gestures, eye contact and vocal vitality, essentially you want to know what your evaluator liked, and why, then what needs improvement and how.

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