Public speaking is one of the most frightening things for many people. I remember as a college student, my communications professor told our class that folks were more scared of public speaking than death. At my last job, we had monthly Ford Dealer Association meetings with automotive dealers as well as monthly dealer war rooms. In each of these meetings, the team had to be able to communicate details about all aspects of the dealer marketing programs. In fact, in every job I ever had, public speaking whether running team meetings or at industry events, were a huge part of the job. Today as CEO of iFrog Digital Marketing, I am constantly not only speaking to the entire iFrog team but speaking at industry events and doing interviews all over the country. So, I thought I would share a few of my tips for public speaking.
Be authentic. Be aware. Be bold.
The first and most important suggestion for anybody speaking in public is to be authentic. Being true to yourself is critical because it revolves around establishing and giving trust. I have seen speakers who are pitching books, programs and other things that they want instead of giving what the audience wants. When people are focused on others and giving, they are more relaxed and have a feeling of helping others in the room. Speakers with a genuine inclination to help others progress and those who freely share expertise are typically the best presenters. As a result, givers are asked to speak more at industry events and get invited to join really cool projects.
Doing things for others actually helps YOU because it makes you feel good. This is true in much more than public speaking. It usually is small stuff like holding a door, sticking change in someone’s meter, getting someone else a cup of coffee or a sandwich. Ultimately, when you give to others you gain much more yourself. At iFrog, we are more than just a company chasing financial goals (we do need to reach certain financial goals) but to us we want to help transform our client’s business. We are a company that aspires to stand for something and make a difference. We care.
Awareness is critical in life and when giving a presentation. I can’t tell you how many times I am sitting in a meeting, presentation or speech and can see that the presenter has lost the audience. The feeling in the room is so obvious to me, though the speaker often fails to see the telltale signs such as phones coming out, restlessness in the audience, whispering or bathroom trips. Being aware is when you are there to do for others, and you can sense when that need is not getting met.
Standing up and saying something to a group is indicative of a boldness to have the courage to present something that adds value to the audience. Giving folks information that helps them live their lives, run their business and supports their success is daring. It takes guts. It requires work, but ultimately changes and impacts the lives of others if done the right way.
You have to have confidence in yourself so that you can help others. Similar to public speaking, I would argue that the primary role of management is to make the staff feel secure and relevant. Ever have a manager tell you to do more with less? What we need to say is I need you to do more with what you have. I often tell teammates that “I believe in them” – because I do. This is the power of getting people to understand their own strengths and values. They learn this by being put in situations where they can fail, but they don’t fail because you help them to succeed. It’s about being authentic, aware and bold.
To be a great public speaker is really about being authentic and giving to your audience. It’s about being bold enough to make a difference and yet humble enough to be aware of the needs of your audience. I also call it leadership as a service and we are here 24/7 to serve our clients and staff with authenticity, awareness and boldness!
As always, please don’t hesitate to hit me up 24/7 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be authentic! Be aware! Be bold! Be a pirate! #ifrogmarketing, #ifrogtechnology, #pirates, #PiratesForChange