What makes a great speaker or presenter?
Fluency in speaking?
Mastery of his or her topic?
Good stage presence?
While these are important factors in being a convincing and impressive speaker, they are definitely NOT ALL that’s in the criteria of being a great speaker.
In his “Speak on the Shoulders of Giants” presentation, Professor Joel Litman, President and CEO of Valens Research, discussed some GENUINE ASSETS for becoming a great speaker.
These assets are important to take note of to help you appeal to your audience even more.
Aside from that, these assets can help you establish a positive image in the industry and build networks with people you can form effective business relationships with.
This is your ability, as a speaker, to conform to facts every time you present in front of your audience.
For example, if you’re presenting data and statistics, it’s important to make sure that everything you’re showing and telling your audience is correct. Your data does not have to be precise, it just has to be correct. 19th century British author Carveth Read expressed this best in his book titled, “Logic: Deductive and Inductive,” when he said, “It’s better to be vaguely right than exactly wrong.”
Even if you mention approximates of the exact number, that is much better than saying the wrong number in a failed attempt to be precise. Make sure this is clear to your audience so they won’t misinterpret anything.
By being truthful in your presentations, you are also establishing credibility in the eyes of your audience.
Being humble is more convincing than being arrogant as a speaker.
This asset is shown whenever you give credit where it is due and attribute concepts, ideas, and topics accordingly.
Humility can also be seen in the way you acknowledge the help of other people in order to make your presentation successful.
Sure, you’re the one presenting on stage but behind you are other people who are responsible for the data you present, stage setup, PowerPoint Presentation, audio, leave-behinds, etc. Imagine all the work you’d have to do by yourself if not for their help!
One way to acknowledge these people during your presentation is by using the pronoun “We” instead of “I.” You don’t need to name who they are and how they helped―that will only distract your audience from your presentation. By using the plural form, you make it evident that the whole presentation is a group effort.
Aside from that, not pretending to “know it all” is a form of humility. As a speaker, you’re not being pressured to be knowledgeable about all things; even other veteran speakers have their weaknesses on certain topics too.
Being humble enough to admit that you don’t know everything enables you to present your “human side” to your audience, cancelling out all the intimidation they feel towards you.
One thing that amazes audiences is a speaker’s ability to simplify complex data and structures in a presentation.
If you know your topic is a bit complex for your audience to understand, making your explanations even more complex will only make things worse.
Instead, simplify your discussion―present your data in an easy-to-understand table or chart, remove unnecessary information, avoid using jargons that your audience doesn’t understand, and make your explanations as simple as possible.
That way, your audience will be impressed by how you effectively simplified complex information in order to make them easily understand your topic.
It also shows how much mastery over the topic you have that you are able to break down concepts and illustrate them in a simple manner.
Compassion is the sympathetic consciousness of others’ feelings and emotions.
As a speaker, you have to remember that your audience is giving you their time, commitment, and attention.
Compassion is your ability to value their presence and their time by delivering a great presentation. The more you value your audience and their efforts to listen to you, the more you’ll be motivated to make sure your presentation is what they need to hear.
Public speaking is not an easy task to do.
Some people even tend to have a natural fear for it.
Whether or not public speaking or presenting in front of your colleagues is part of your job description, it’s important for you to master the art of public speaking (or at least learn how to effectively get your message across) because this will help you achieve your career goals and organizational goals.
The fastest way to master the art of public speaking is to learn to love it, and according to Professor Litman, the only way for you to love it is to do it. A LOT.
Practice your public speaking skills every chance you can. As you continually do it, you’ll be amazed at how eventually it will feel normal for you.
How you feel towards doing something will be reflected in the way you do that particular task.
If you’re feeling forced to conduct a presentation, it will be obvious the moment you get on stage to deliver your message. Your audience will notice it in your tone and your body language.
That’s why it’s important that when you do something, especially a presentation, you do it with a joyful heart. This will enable you to stay motivated all throughout your presentation, and to smile and engage with your audience in a positive manner.
When your audience is enjoying your presentation because of your positive demeanor, you’ll be able to more easily appeal to them and convince them in your call-to-action (CTA).
According to Professor Litman, these assets are some of the things you’ll consistently find in some of the greatest speakers of all time, including Martin Luther King, Jr. and Winston Churchill, the two speakers he mentioned in his presentation.
It’s not just MLK and Churchill’s intelligence, passion, and willpower that made them great; it’s also a combination of a lot more things including these genuine assets.
By exhibiting these assets during their speeches, MLK and Churchill’s words were able to withstand the test of time that years after they’ve gone, their words are still being used as an inspiration by many.
Be inspired with how these “Giants of Speeches” delivered their speeches and observe not just their words and way of delivery, but also their character as a speaker.
Take note of these genuine assets the next time you present. These will not just make you a great speaker in your own eyes, but also in your audience’s eyes.
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Wednesdays: Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”
In a meeting with one person
…a boardroom with five people
…or a huge venue with hundreds of people
—whatever the situation or setting, it’s very important to learn and eventually master the art of public speaking.
No matter what, you always need to effectively get your message across.
What good is a presentation with awesome content if you don’t deliver it properly?
Every Wednesday, we publish different tips, insights, and secrets on how you can improve your presentation skills to captivate your audience and lead interesting discussions.
The need for great presentation skills applies EVERYWHERE.
(Small meetings with your team, big meetings with your boss, an important marketing pitch, speaking engagements for events with a big audience, etc.)
Learning these skills is not just for the corporate world. Being in other industries such as the Arts, Information Technology, Medicine, and Education while knowing how to present well will definitely give you an edge.
Have that advantage.
Hope you’ve found this week’s public speaking tip interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Wednesday’s Speak on the Shoulders of Giants!
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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