It’s been an interesting week in which a couple of people and an organisation have asked me to coach them for public speaking.
Speaking publicly is in my bones: I left school at 18 and started my professional life in media which included training people to speak to the press and to appear on TV and radio. And before becoming a speaker / coach I was a singer and performer… so I understand what a performer, audience and the various ‘agents’ in between want.
Some people who may train you to speak and present overcomplicate matters – or worse try to get you to be someone else or bind you to rules which are at best guidelines. Speaking is an art. It is a dance between you, your audience and your message and objectives. It is, like all things, a relationship. The more rich and honest the relationship, the more engaging a effective a speaker you will become. Here my simple tips:
You & your story
• Who are you? What’s your story? What’s your style? What’s your purpose?
• Your biog, website etc need to reflect this
• Be, breathe, be rooted. Use your voice, passion, body, strengths and fears
• Who are they? What do they want?
• What’s the brief and who is the customer? (build strong rapport with all )
• How can you win (often multiple audiences) over and be true to you?
• Clear, crisp, compelling: and relevant
• Start, middle, end (sandwich: strong start & end with a tasty / healthy filling)
• Sweet, seductive and simple… what outcome do you want?
• View it, visit it, connect with it, change / re-arrange it
• Use it and own it
• Respect it and be at one with it
The tools / technology
• Which are right for you, the audience and the occasion?
• Use it, don’t, let it use you – be-friend it, learn how to use
• Have a back-up – be able to deliver without it
• Interact, invite, engage and involve
• Facts, figures, stories, examples, props, Q&A
• Plan, prepare and perform
• What works for you: some plan/prep/ rehearse/visualise endlessly, some never do
• Know when to embrace and break the rules
Above all: be you and honour, empower and entertain your audience. If you do this you will flourish.
Rasheed Ogunlaru: is a leading coach & speaker. He is author of The Gift of Inner Success and A Zest for Business. His clients include entertainers, entrepreneurs, healers and teachers. He is the business coach partner of the British Library and often appears in the media, including appearances on BBC Breakfast and ITN News. He helps people of all backgrounds find lasting fulfilment in all areas of their lives, relationships and careers.