Have a work presentation coming up? Getting started in public speaking? Or as a student, do you hate oral presentations?
As my speaking calendar is filling in for this next year, and I reflect on how much I love sharing with women, it occurs to me that not everyone enjoys public speaking. If that is you, or if you simply wish to polish up those skills, may I let you in on five things that will shatter your public speaking jitters, and revolutionize your communication skills?
1.) Bring quality and expertise. In today’s busy world, nobody wants to waste their time. Put in the time and hard work to learn, research, accumulate statistics, dig into God’s word, and cite other experts that will enrich your listener. In my ministry I want my listeners to walk away from our sessions with a rekindled flame in their walk with God, in their marriage and family, and in their spheres of influence. And they’ll have the tools, resources and passion for the next steps.
2.) Be convinced, yourself. If you are not convinced that what you have to say is important and will revolutionize marriages, or transform the way people think about their sexuality, for example, -- or whatever YOU talk about-- then go back to step one: Bring quality and expertise. Research your topic until you have quality information that is vitally important to your hearers. Once you are convinced of its value, your delivery and demeanor will automatically reflect your passion, pathos and ethos.
3.) Think of your Audiences' Needs above your own. For my speaking engagements, I love to find out more about each group I am going to: their needs, the group’s origins, their passions, and the topic they choose from my speaking selection. Then I spend the weeks and months before my sessions, praying for these women. Lifting up their particular MOPS groups, retreats, homeschooling co-ops, camps, or banquets, I spend regular time in prayer for them. I love how God gives me a love for them that wells out of me when I speak to them later that year, and it eliminates any jitters.
4.) Watch your protein and caffeine. Wonderful communicator and adviser Jeannie Burlowski advises clients to sneak in some protein right before a presentation. The protein gives your brain a boost of clarity and alertness, clearing any fog or verbal stumbles. Watch your caffeine intake on an empty stomach too, since it will cause hand tremors and nervous-looking shaking – not something that increases your professional demeanor.
What are some speaking tips you’ve appreciated over the years? Or, what excites you?