Something so simple for marketingApril 20, 2007
Customer surveys are powerful lead generatorsMay 9, 2007
Speaking is something we usually pick up automatically. Most of us never deal with it as something special. Every day we say hundreds of words (although I have read somewhere that on average a man speaks all in all just about 10 minutes a day!) and usually we do not bother with the way we do it at all.This is a common mistake. Your mother has taught you to speak your language and at school they did their best to teach you how to speak and write grammatically correctly (hopefully they were successful!). But Speaking is still something more than that.
Recently, research has been done which explored what people generally are most afraid of. Do you know what ended up on the first place? No, it was not death nor physical pain. It was speaking in public!
So it is natural to be nervous when you are about to start your speech in front of large crowds. It stems from the past when people were hunting animals. In dangerous conditions fear was their daily companion. However, they learnt how to use this stress to fight with greater power. The question is how to transform our fears into strength nowadays.
According to the people skilled in public speaking there are a few basic tips that could help.
1. Be well prepared.
This is the number one advice on a successful presentation. However, remember that sometimes the content of your speech makes up less than 50 % of your success. You could end up describing important results of a nation-wide survey on an interesting topic without building any rapport with your audience. Think about improving your mimicry skills, voice strength, gestures or try to maintain their attention using some of the presentational facilities, such as a projector, a flip chart or any of the visualisation tools which could enrich your performance and increase the attention of your target group.
During the preparation phase you should definitely practice the whole speech several times in order to find out how long it will take. It is recommended that you try it in front of a mirror so that you can see yourself and work on how you look.
On “D” day make sure you take everything you need with you and look your best. Dress appropriately and smile. A good mood will put away all the stress and unease.
2. Breathe deeply.
Shortly before you start keep calm. Breathe deeply, imagine yourself sitting somewhere on the beach. Relax. If you are relaxed, your sense of ease will transfer to your audience and they will listen to you with respect. Do not show any signs of stress.
3. Listen to your audience.
Finally, do not forget about the people who will have to listen to your words. Assuming that you were thinking of them also when preparing your content and the structure of the presentation, now standing in front of them you should be able to read their faces. Are they interested in your words? If they are yawning, you should immediately follow up with an interest-gaining question or a humorous remark that would wake them all up.
Speaking as a Marketing Tool
Speaking plays a very important role in marketing. If you want to organise a seminar, a product presentation or just to take part in a debate, you need to have strong communicating skills. If performed the correct way, all these events can help to increase your popularity and brand awareness as well as to create positive attitudes towards you and your company.
The fact is that not every human being has developed the ability to speak impressively in front of the public. If you do not think you are the right person to do it, rather ask someone else from your company to represent you. Alternatively, you can hire an expert coach who will help you to improve. At the end of the day I think that anyone can master this art if they practice regularly and with passion.
Once you have honed the way you speak, the next step is to find or organise suitable events where you can prove your qualities. You should try to take part in every possible event related to your business. After doing some research you will soon find out that there are various speaking opportunities available for free. It is just up to you to find an interesting topic and make sure that your content is worth listening to. You can start to cooperate with your local TV or radio station, give a lecture at the nearest university, or arrange a debate or a seminar yourself. Then just do not forget to ensure that relevant audience comes.
Another thing related to speaking is the way you communicate on the phone or during a personal meeting. You should always be open and kind, precise and concrete. Although these are not one-to-many events they are also crucial if you want to create positive relationship with your clients.
To conclude, the goal is to leave a positive impression under all circumstances. Furthermore, if you want to succeed, the key rule is to always tell the truth.