Four Tips on Public Speaking

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

One of the questions I am frequently asked is in regards to public speaking. Teaching is part of what I do here at Splendid Communications and as a result I have spoken several times.

1. Wear clothing you are comfortable in but that is still professional. You should be able to move around in it. You should not be spilling out of it, in any way. You may also be sitting on high stools, so avoid short skirts as well.

2. Know how to run your computer and slides. Do not depend on the A/V people to know everything.

3. Don't start your talk with meaningless or dull questions. "Did you all have fun last night?" "How were the other sessions today?", etc all set a poor tone for the rest of your presentation.

4. Prepare and practice. This isn't rocket science but I can't tell you how many speakers go into a presentation with no idea what they are going to talk about. I have even been in a very uncomfortable presentation where the speaker was scribbling her notes while she was being introduced. People have invested time and money into hearing you speak. Honor their choice to do so. They are the ones doing YOU a favor by being there, not the other way around.

What tips do you have for speaking, either from a presenter's or attendee's perspective?

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