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You have probably heard the commonly shocking statistic that people fear public speaking more than death, which means that the phenomenal business keynote speaker of our time most likely went through some extensive training and humbling experiences to get to where they are. In fact, this reputable article based on surveys shows that public speaking is commonly at the top of the list for people’s fears.

The truth is, there are certain mind frames and tools that can be utilised that will make you an extremely persuasive and compelling speaker for all types of scenarios from networking groups to perhaps pitching a product to a high-level executive.

If you are involved in the business world and have ambitions to rise up, public speaking is something that you will inevitably have to learn, whether it be an audience of 10 or 100. The first segment of this article will deal with the underlying mindsets and structures you should have so that your message flows congruently, whilst the second segment will deal more with the specific techniques and tools you can utilise as icing on the cake.

Intent

Without a doubt, you must ALWAYS have an outcome, objective or intention in mind before going out to speak, this is even more important than having a plan of what to say or how to say it.
The reason being is that if you’re an expert speaker or aspire to be one, you will almost never go according to the script, being natural and adapting to the environment and situation will always be more congruent than sounding like a programmed robot.

You may or may not have heard of the autopilot feature that modern-day planes possess. Typically these planes are hit by turbulence and are knocked off course temporarily on the way to their destination, when this happens the planes automatically redirect themselves and go back on course towards their destination. Like the plane, a clearly defined outcome in mind will redirect your speech almost seemingly during your moments of presentation and you will catch yourself relating all your stories and messages to that goal.

Be Familiar With The Audience

Humans are self-referential beings, this is not a passing of judgment or criticism, it’s just a fact. If you were to read your name or something that is identical to a childhood story on this article, your eyes would immediately light up and your attention would be grabbed for an extra few minutes.

Being familiar with your audience allows you to take advantage of this human trait. If all you did was the start off with a relevant story whether it concerns the business of the executives you’re trying to pitch or about the local town of your networking group, your likability factor would immediately rise.

The above is why extensive research should be a major part of your preparation process. For situations such as company presentations, find out about their history, people, values and so on and talk congruently with that in a way that makes their heads nod in familiarity.

Engage Emotions

It’s likely that you don’t remember 99% of manoosha you learned in high school, perhaps not even because you weren’t interested, but due to the teachers not being engaged. This is why it is absolutely essential that you are passionate about the subject topic you’re talking about.

Several studies prove that information with emotion is retained much more effectively, test groups in this experiment prove this point accurately. The subjects were given two different films, one being emotionally charged and one not, evidently the emotionally charged film was recalled much more easily.

if you’re not moved by what you’re saying and don’t really believe in the subject, there is no way that you’re going to be able to stir the audience’s emotions and cause them to take action. History presents the best examples of this, just look at the famous “I have a dream” speech by Martin Luther King or the countless Steve Jobs Youtube videos that shows him talking about what he loves.

The importance of this point cannot be understated, if you’re not passionate and deeply immersed with what you’re talking about or pitching, you might as well forget about the rest of the tips as they will come off as fake and incongruent.

Now that you know the core structure you should be coming into the speech with, the next article of this topic will deal with some of the techniques and tools you can employ during your speech. Be sure to call Tony Farugia of Headspace Behavioural Science on 0458 888 756 or email: info@headspacebehaviouralscience.com.au to speak at your next networking meeting.