How do I improve my public speaking? Part 1

You've got a story and a message to share, but how do you make sure it doesn't fall flat? First, you need to find out what kind of speaker you would like to be, and then structure your speech so that you can create value for your listeners and people can take actionable steps based on your words.

The first time I spoke publicly professionally, the sound of my heels resounded in the room. Every click bounced against the walls and I could feel the eyes burning through the back of my head. My cue cards had gotten damp with sweat and crumpled slightly as I knew without them I would be lost.  I told the story of me, my brand, and what I wanted to create with the $20K I was hoping to win at this pitch event. After my 3 minutes were done and I had answered a barrage of questions, a resounding round of applause from the 100+ people that had witnessed me sharing my goals for something so close to me. I could breathe again, and I was addicted to the rush.

Since then, I've had the opportunity to share my business, present workshops, and edu-tain thousands of people but most importantly, watch. 

Watch as people convey their message with words, gestures, and slides, and watch as people connected, or disconnected with the person on stage. 

I've had great feedback when I do my speeches, people say that I'm a natural, super charismatic, or that they had an a-ha moment. I know I can always get better, however, here's what I learned from seeing the best, and making it my own.

 

Step One: Get clear on what kind of speaker you are.

There are Three types of speaker, Educational, Motivational and Transformational. Usually you find as someone gets better in their speaking craft, they start off as Educational and (can) end up as Transformational. Educational speakers convey information. That's it. There's very little feeling involved and a weak call to action, if there is one at all. An example of an educational speaker is your Financial Advisor and most Teachers.  There is little to no engagement from the crowd needed ( they may be sleeping) and the energy you get from the crowd will be lukewarm. If you're attempting to move someone to purchase something or take action, you are going to have the least effect. 

 

Motivational speakers have a message, dammit, and you need to take it and change your life! The audience will feel something and will be left filled with energy and rah-rah to go and change their lives. Examples of this are Tony Robbins and your personal trainer. There is a heart-felt message attached to it and the audience will connect on a deeper level than those who are just delivering information. The thing with motivation is it doesn't last that long, causing people to have to come back for another fix. If you want to be great and just make money, this might be a good place for you. If you want to be extraordinary and build a legacy, take the next step into being a transformational speaker. 

 

Transformational speakers are here to take you on a journey and help you shift the way you think so that you can make a tangible change in your life. Most people remember experiencing a transformational speaker as being a benchmark moment in their lives. When presenting, the speaker is 100% authentic and in the zone. You can tell that they are connected and care deeply about the subject matter, and the listeners are different people as a result of experiencing their presentation. They are "Transformed" into something more.

My favorite transformational speaker is Dr. Wayne W. Dyer. I had the opportunity to experience him at a conference I was at, and he was one of the 10+ speakers that weekend.  I hadn't been familiar with him or his work but I knew that he was a leader in the field, so I sat down with my pen and paper ready to absorb whatever he chose to share.  As he began, I remember feeling the room saturate with the feeling of unconditional love. As he spoke, people put down their writing materials and sat as he effortlessly connected with every person there. After the speech, we all broke for lunch and the majority looked as if they were coming out of a dream. Something magical happened and we all knew it.

 

What kind of speaker are you and what kind of speaker do you want to be?

Now that you know, the next steps are to structure your speeches to make it easy for people to take tangible nuggets and implement them in their lives ASAP. Stay tuned for part two where we go over the structure of a successful speech!

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