Public speaking is part of being a business leader that will either terrify or excite you.
Everyone can be confident in their business, but publicly speaking about it with the same confidence can be a whole different gravy.
Speaking to an audience is a personal thing, and being in the limelight can be quite an intense experience, especially if you’re just starting out.
Yet it’s an important attribute to have. Publicly speaking about your business is the very thing which drives your business forward. It’s perhaps the most personal type of marketing possible, as audiences will instantly get a feel for your business, no matter what the circumstances.
Representing your business in person is live marketing
There are lots of situations where public speaking is needed to keep your business running smoothly. And 'public speaking' doesn't always mean delivering a whole lecture in front of thousands of people. It can be small-scale events, such as community meetings or presentations to potential buyers/investors. Integrated within the post-COVID era of remote meetings, public speaking is needed for situations such as
- Networking events
- Pitches and briefs
- Initial meetings
- Content creation
Whether it's digital or in-person, public speaking is something that always catches up to all business leaders.
How to become a pro at public speaking
A few ways to brush up on public speaking and continually improve, to better represent your business.
- Know your audience
- Practise, practise, practise
- Record yourself
- Consider body language
- Be passionate
Knowing your audience
Who are you speaking to? Are you presenting your business to potential stakeholders? The community?
Just like marketing, knowing your audience will help dictate your communication. Language is important, and knowing exactly what to say and how to say it. If you're speaking to potential partners, you'd use industry jargon. If you're talking to the community, you'd probably describe your business in layman's terms.
Speaking the same language as your audience will help them follow what you're saying, and help them to better understand you and your business.
Practise makes perfect
Practising your speech will help you connect ideas and words together to formulate really engaging sentences.
Engraving the speech into your memory will help to connect the mental dots if you have a mental blank, or if you experience a bit of stage fright.
It's a safety net to fall back on, should you stumble over your words or confuse your ideas.
If you're often at the forefront of your business's social media marketing or online presence, then it's easy to practise delivering your ideas in front of a camera. Recording, watching, and re-recording are all great ways to reflect on your speech delivery and can give you a better idea of how to improve.
Analyse your language, look at your body language, and re-record until you're fully comfortable with the speech flow.
Consider body language and nonverbal communication
When we communicate, we actually absorb more non-verbal information rather than the actual speech itself.
We make judgements from people based on facial expressions, hand position, posture, and stance. These micromovements are all delivering information to our audiences. Closed body language and lack of expression aren't engaging. Open and approachable body language, straight posture, eye contact and engaging facial expressions are going to intrigue your audience so much more.
Be passionate. It's infectious.
If you're passionate about your message, and you truly believe in your words - the passion will shine through naturally. Being passionate about your business is infectious. Your audience will become magnetised to your message, and it will encourage them to really follow what you're saying.
You don't have to tell cheesy jokes or wear something memorable. Simply inject your love of the topic into what you're saying - and it will naturally radiate through.
Change your perception of public speaking
Speaking in public can be scary. If public speaking fills you with dread, it might be time for a shift in perspective. Try and view public speaking as an opportunity to spark conversations, share knowledge and inspire your audience. It's a great skill to harness and one that helps all business leaders grow not only their business but for personal growth.