Like many people in my field of expertise, I have to speak to groups on a consistent basis. Though I have a knack with words, that does not necessarily mean I am connecting with the audience that sits before me. As a matter-of-fact, there have been times I have spoken to an audience and could tell from their body language, that what I was saying, was not connecting. Why was that? Because I had not done the research on my audience; I didn’t ask the age group, what were many of their likes or dislikes, why were they there?
Within the past 2 years, I see the trend of public speaking and that if you become a public speaker, you will: (1) be paid at your speaking engagements, (2) attract more clientele and; (3) receive endless phone calls. Well, that is the biggest lie anyone could have ever told you, unless you are a professor who already has an audience of students, or a renown speaker, such as a Les Brown and others that you see on major platforms. There is an art to public speaking and though you feel you have something to say, it does not mean that you are ready to hit the big stage. As a matter-of-fact, most people don’t know when to stop speaking. If you do not capture your audience within 5 minutes, you have lost them.
There is an art to public speaking and though I thought I had it altogether, boy oh boy was I wrong after going through my Communications Course on Public Speaking. I found out I said…”hmmmm…ahh….often and I spoke very fast.” It took 2 months for me to finally get to the place of slowing down and not saying “hmmm….ahh.”… sometimes I still find myself doing it.
Some things you can do to help you develop your speaking initiatives are the following:
- Read as many books as possible; this will help open up your mind.
- Converse with friends and evaluate their body language, do they try to get away from you, are their eyes focused elsewhere?
- Watch out for the occasional….’hmmmm….ahhh;” it just means you are lost for words and the brain is trying to find something to say. This comes with time and when you slow down your speech.
- Take up a Toastmaster’s Class or watch out for one of our Communication/Public Speaking Courses and learn the Art of Public Speaking.
As a start-up business owner, you will find yourself having to speak often to your target audience or prospective clientele. So remember, don’t assume just because you “feel” you have something to say, you search out every platform that will allow you to speak. Evaluate, work on your words, practice in the mirror, and develop the Craft!
We will have a Public Speaking for The Entrepreneurs Workshop on Thursday, June 22nd at the Microsoft Store in San Diego from 6:30p to 8:30p. If you are in the area, join us.