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How to be a Confident Public Speaker

  • Blog
  • 15 October 2015

We read a lot about marketing these days. But in amongst the necessity for eye-catching advertising and savvy social media use, one thing must be remembered: sometimes the biggest selling point for a business is the people who came up with the idea in the first place. However, many small business owners are so petrified of putting themselves at the forefront of a promotional campaign that they fail to capitalise on their innate passion and knowledge for the company they run. Getting over this fear can unlock many doors, so consider the following advice before turning your back on public speaking.

How to be a Confident Public Speaker

Consider Content

One mistake many first-time public speakers make is getting the content of their talk wrong. Whether it's addressing business peers or potential clients, the hard sell is not what is in order here. Instead, your talk should be focused on not just what you do, but how and why you do it so well. Providing personal anecdotes can work wonders, and making an audience feel as though you have carefully pitched your talk just for them can also create an excellent impression.

Make Your Voice Heard

Of course, there is little point in planning the perfect pitch if there is no one to hear it, so finding a venue and opportunity for you to promote your business is a must. As already alluded to, making sure that your target market is reachable is very important, so not just any event will do - you need to pick somewhere appropriate for what you are discussing or offering. Getting in touch with an organisation such as the Federation of Small Businesses can open the door to a wide range of networking events, making it easy to find the best place for you to make the leap into public speaking.

Practice Makes Perfect

Even if you are sure that you have written and prepared the perfect speech, you still need to take the time to think about the presentation itself. Hiding behind your notes and making little eye contact is simply not an option. Don't put pressure on yourself to learn your speech outright, but perhaps consider using limited notes or visual presentation aids to guide you through your talk and keep you on course to make the best impression possible.

Make Them Listen

Remember that as a small business owner or leader you are a huge part of your organisation's success, and this should be reflected in your public speaking. Structuring your talk around a hook or unique selling point that is touched upon at intervals is a great way of keeping the audience interested and ensuring that key messages are made clear. Lastly, make sure there is an opportunity for listeners to follow up on what they have heard if they so wish. Whether it is an email address, a business card or a leaflet, you should do all you can to make sure the talk lives long in the memories of those who heard it.