Make that keynote address your own — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
Haven’t addressed a large group in a while and you’re a little rusty? Here’s our take on calming the jitters and having a good time:
Prepare. Put in an hour of rehearsal before every talk, according to Toastmasters International. A few leaders seem to be “naturals” in front of a microphone. Naturally, they practiced.
Relax first. Stretch, listen to tunes, whatever it takes.
Work the room beforehand. It might give you a custom-tailored idea for the beginning of your speech. You also could visit the room an hour early to work up a feel for the location.
Get people’s attention with a startling historical fact or gripping piece of news (all relevant to your topic, of course). Don’t begin by thanking a bunch of people, the very thing you hate about the Oscars.
Make it your own style. It’s truer and more compelling than copying somebody else’s.
Use your own stories. A couple of years ago, we heard a speech featuring an apocryphal story about a boy and his teacher: an urban legend, perhaps? It was distracting and reduced our trust in the speaker.
Bring passion. Aside from the content itself, your passion is the most important ingredient. If you care, they will.
—Adapted from “Top public speaking don’ts,” Jennifer Nycz-Conner, Washington Business Journal.