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5 simple tips to become a great public speaker

public-speaking---MAG

As a Connective Compliance Support Manager, a big part of my role is educational and I’m often required to stand up in front of large audiences to make presentations. People always ask me “How do you do it? How do you engage the audience like that?” “Don’t you get nervous?” “How can I be a great public speaker?”

Mortgage brokers can get a lot out of making presentations at community events, appearing in videos and running their own financial workshop sessions. Activities like these can help you build your reputation and grow your audience. So today, I’m sharing with you 5 simple tips that, with practice, will help to make you a great and engaging public speaker.

  1. Prepare

An inspiring, honest and engaging speech is one that has been carefully prepared. Being prepared doesn’t mean you have a completed script to read out – being prepared means knowing the audience that you will be addressing, knowing your topic, understanding the location and venue, and having a solid grasp of the industry.

  1. Rehearsals

Rehearsals are fun! I always arrive at the venue well before the doors open. I stand in front of the lectern and rehearse how I am going to deliver the speech to my audience.

Next time you need to deliver a presentation, take some time to look at how the room is setup. Ask yourself: What is the layout of the room? Is it a classroom format, or tables? How is the room arranged? Can you move around the room, or do you want to stand in one spot? Knowing the space before you ‘go live’ will put you at ease.

  1. Entertain

Entertain your audience! This is your moment in the spotlight. Embrace it! Feel the warmth of the spotlight (if you don’t have one, get one). Never just read out the script. You need to understand the words and be passionate about the meaning that you want your audience to take away. For example, when talking about a product, you need to paint a picture to your audience to make it feel real. The colour, the shape, the feel.

Most importantly, never forget the golden rule of entertaining and that is SMILE.

  1. Listen & Feel

Listen to your audience and feel the mood of the room. If it’s quiet and everyone is looking at their phones, you need to elevate your tone to command attention. For example, I was asked to deliver a presentation about compliance to a room of 500 people for 45 minutes. When I got up to deliver my presentation, I could feel that the room was very quiet. Everyone had their heads down. The room needed energy. So I got up on stage and asked everyone to stand up! And then we did a 2-minute yoga session. Sure there was a bit of resistance to begin with, but I commanded the attention of the audience. There were lots of laughs and everyone was engaged for the serious part of the presentation.

  1. Breathe

It sounds so simple, however it is amazing how easy it is to forget to do it when you are nervous. B.R.E.A.T.H.E! Taking deep breaths before and during your presentation will ensure you have enough oxygen to keep your nerves under control.

I hope these tips give you the confidence to give public speaking a try. If you practice them and prepare carefully for your presentation, you will be able to engage your audience and achieve success. Remember, the Compliance Team is always available to assist with any questions you may have about your presentation content. If you’d like us to run an eye over it, simply get in touch by clicking your help icon in Mercury or email us at compliance@connective.com.au