For most of us, public speaking can be incredibly nerve-wracking. What if you mess up? What if no one claps? What if someone asks you a question you don’t know the answer to? What if you throw up on stage?
1. Focus on the audience
Most entrepreneurs worry, “How will I look on stage?” They focus on themselves. Successful entrepreneurs think differently: they don’t focus on themselves, they focus on the audience. World-class speakers ask, “What do I want the audience to think, do or feel differently after my presentation?” Focus on sharing your message with the audience and you will become more successful.
The rarest commodity in the business world is attention. If you’re a boring speaker, the audience will check their emails or think about where to have dinner tonight. To grab the audience’s attention, you need to keep them engaged. One easy way is to engage people’s emotions: ask questions, tell stories or play a short video. The more engaging your presentation is, the more attention you can get from the audience.
3. Be conversational
Have you ever heard presenters using buzzwords such as “leverage” and “synergy” to make themselves sound more professional? These words are meaningless. Successful entrepreneurs avoid buzzwords. They use simple words to make sure that everyone understands what they say. To get your point across, use simple words that even a 10-year-old can understand.
4. Tell powerful stories
Stories are powerful because they engage people’s emotions. When you engage people’s emotions, they will pay attention and be inspired to take action. Stories help you stand out from the crowd. The best stories are usually from your personal experiences because you know them best and nobody can challenge you.
5. Use slides that are visually engaging
Average entrepreneurs use hundreds of bullet points in presentation slides. The bullet attack makes the audience feel, “Oh my God! Another boring presentation.” Successful entrepreneurs use slides differently. Instead of bullet points, they use pictures. Make sure every slide has one picture that expresses the whole idea and use as few words as possible. This simple approach will make your presentation more memorable.
6. Keep learning
World-class entrepreneurs never stop learning because they want to be on top of the industry. If you are not learning, you’re dying. Even top presentation experts keep learning. They read new books, attend seminars and watch Talks to advance their skills.
You can use any of the routines described in this post to start improving your public speaking. So go out there and start speaking!