Did you have the opportunity to celebrate International Women’s Day this week?

I had the pleasure of attending an event organised by the Bayside Women in Business and Five Foot Rope Connective group on Wednesday.

With over 200 women and men in attendance, it was a highly successful event. 

Brilliant company, tasty food, and excellent speakers. (mostly)

A winning combination.

As a speaker coach, I can’t just sit back and simply listen to the content the speaker shares, but can’t help myself in also evaluating how they do so. 

What I particularly noticed regarding the three speakers was their different styles and delivery method.

How to be an engaging speaker?

First, the politician read the majority of her speech, and of course depending on whether you were aligned with her message (or not), determined how well it was received. I believe she missed the opportunity to connect with her audience in this instance as she spoke on issues that would have alienated some in the room. 

The second speaker, Louise Fitzgerald-Baker spoke in a considered manner, skillfully using pauses to great effect. Louise also had an excellent structure in her presentation enabling the audience to follow easily.

In direct comparison, the third speaker, Amy Jackson, was vibrant and moved around the stage a lot. Her message wasn’t as defined but as an after-lunch speaker, her energy ensured the audience remained engaged.

The learning from this?

  • Is to not compare yourself with others as a public speaker.
  • Pick a style that works for you and become skilled in the delivery.
  • Speaking and talking are not the same. Being a good talker is not enough.
  • There are techniques that make a good speaker, great. 
  • And a great speaker, brilliant!

Gerald R. Ford is right…

“If I went back to college again, I’d concentrate on two areas: learning to write and to speak before an audience. Nothing in life is more important than the ability to communicate effectively.”

Presentations and public speaking can be daunting tasks, but with the right approach, they can be incredibly rewarding and impactful. 

Here are some key elements that make a good presentation and public speaking:

• Preparation: One of the most important things you can do is to prepare thoroughly. This includes researching your topic, organizing your thoughts, and creating visual aids like slides or handouts, etc. 

• Engage your audience: Capturing and maintaining your audience’s attention is crucial to a successful presentation. Use stories, anecdotes, or humor to keep your audience engaged throughout your presentation. 

• Structure: A well-structured presentation should have a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. 

• Visual aids: Visual aids like slides or handouts can be very effective in supporting your presentation. Make sure your visual aids are clear, concise, and easy to understand. 

• Tone and pace: The tone and pace of your presentation can make a big difference in how well it is received. Speak clearly and at a pace that is easy to follow. Use appropriate body language and facial expressions to convey your message.

• Connect with your audience: To be a successful public speaker, you need to connect with your audience. Use inclusive language and avoid jargon or technical terms that your audience might not understand.

• Practice, practice, practice: The more you practice your presentation, the more comfortable and confident you will become. Record yourself giving the presentation and watch it back to identify areas where you can improve.

Learning how the techniques to deliver a great presentation is achievable no matter how nervous you may be speaking in public.

By mastering these elements, you can deliver an effective presentation and become a successful public speaker.

Learn how by attending the upcoming 1-Day Professional Speaking Masterclass on March 24. (Two spots are still available)

It is a day of participation and practices to assist you in becoming an engaging speaker.

Click for details and claim one of the final few places still available.

Wishing you success as an engaging speaker.