In an earlier post we discussed how to overcome sounding strained or scripted when giving a speech. Now we discuss the preparation aspect of public speaking. Some people are gifted enough that they can give an amazing public speech at the drop of a hat and not break a sweat. I do not recommend you try this, because chances are you will wind up stressed and flustered.
In preparing a speech you need to focus on the main thing, which is "What point am I trying to get across?" Once you decided on this aspect, then you can build from there to the bullet points pertaining to your main focus.
For example, if I want to speak on motivating my employees, this is a very broad topic. How do I want to motivate them? Motivate my employees to do what? Come to work happy? Be more productive? Not fall asleep when I am giving a speech?
As you can see there is a lot that can be addressed under this particular subject, so I need to narrow it down. For this example let's say I want to motivate my employees to be more productive during their work day. I will narrow this down by wanting my employees to spend more time on customer service calls instead of personal calls. Now I know what to stay on topic about. This will also help decide what incentives I will offer for my employees to want to be motivated and work more. I will keep my speech short, light and entertaining by offering silly prizes during my speech such as throwing out small stuffed animals, pens, key chains etc. to employees who answer any questions I ask during my speech. It is amazing how much more interested people will be if they think their attention will be rewarded.
Also make sure to focus on the positive aspects of increased productivity and not on the negative results from goofing off. Human nature is to want to be validated and rewarded for our work and if we set up the reward system during our speech it will give us a more attentive audience and it will also make the employees more receptive to want to attend your meetings.
The other important component is to keep your tone light and entertaining. No one wants to hear a monotone low voice no matter what you are giving away. Stay animated and natural! The more you can convey your real personality during your speech the more people will listen! While giving your speech remember to stay on point and avoid too much personal stories or non related topics.
In our next segment we will cover how to overcome nervousness at the beginning of your presentation and how to stay on point. To prepare for the next focus point, identify three or five specific bullets to that point and make it fun and entertaining! But most importantly Be yourself!
Until next time...have fun!