24 Jul 2012

Mastering the art of public speaking

Whether it’s a client presentation, a workshop facilitation or a conference talk, public speaking is a necessary part of business. It can also be a powerful promotional tool, with industry events allowing you to demonstrate your expertise and further build your reputation. However it’s also something that a lot of people fear. (Glossophobia is the official term – ‘glossa’ being Greek for tongue). But with the right planning and practice, there are ways to shine. Here are some tips from some confident speakers in the Brennan IT team: 1. Know your material Everyone is an expert in something – even if it’s just how a particular real-world problem was solved. If you’re called upon to present at a conference or similar forum, choosing your topic wisely can mean that your confidence in the material translates into a confident performance. 2. Target your audience While you may have given your presentation before, your audience is new each time. Make sure that you adjust your presentation to their needs. Anticipate what it is that they’ll really want to know, and consider answering commonly asked questions as you go, rather than waiting for the audience to ask at the end. 3. Be genuine Good speakers create genuine connections with their audiences. Exactly how you do that depends on you: it relies on your ability to be yourself. 4. Practice Practice your presentations as much as possible beforehand. At the same time however, when giving your presentation, remember to build that genuine connection with the audience by inhabiting the speech as you go and not being too rehearsed. What tips would you give for effective speaking? Let us know below.