Don’t sweat it – 5 tips for public speakers
- Gain credibility in the first minute. Make eye contact, speak slowly, and articulate how you’ll address the needs and concerns of the audience.
- Stay in real time. Focus on what you’re trying to say instead of thinking ahead to what you want to say next.
- Repeat important points. Effective communication is about what listeners remember.
- Use positive language. If you say, “This is not a problem situation; I wouldn’t worry that this will turn into a disaster,” what the listener hears is “problem,” “worry,” and “disaster.” If you mean “Everything will be just fine,” then say it.
- Factual information should be written down. Use verbal communication to motivate and persuade. Statistics and other factual information are more easily digested in printed material.
SOURCES: Kay Peters, KTT Communications, New York; Thom Brockett, Long & Foster Real Estate, Gaitherburg, Md.; Don Patrick, CreatePlus Inc., Seattle.