As far as common entrepreneur mistakes go, failing to develop yourself as a public speaker is near the top. Lawyers, in particular, have a high propensity towards speaking anxiety. Between 58% and 64% of lawyers are introverts and this could be costing them money.
This is because those who are paid the most are often the best at communicating. And when you’re trying to make it as an entrepreneur or paid international speaker, your ability to communicate effectively is especially important.
To help you become or excel as an international public speaker, read the following tips.
Know Your Audience
Anytime you’re speaking before an audience, there’s usually a specific reason. You should always know who you are speaking to and what they expect or need out of the presentation. If you’re hosting a corporate event, teach and inspire them. It’s imperative to understand the demographics of your audience as an international public speaker.
Rehearse, Rehearse, and Rehearse Again
Things only become muscle memory if you practice them relentlessly. Anytime you have a big speech scheduled, it’s incredibly important that you practice every single day leading up to the date. Prepare your goals and content well in advance. The great thing is, you can practice just about anywhere: in the car, on a jog, or on the plane as you fly to your speaking destination.
Choose a Style That Works for You (and Stick With It)
It’s true that different events will call for a different style or approach. In some cases, something as basic as reading a prepared speech is acceptable. But if you wish to make it big as an international public speaker, it’s important to find your groove and stay in it. Figure out what makes you tick as a communicator and play to your strengths. Develop a vibrant brand so anyone catching even a glimpse of your presentation recognizes your unique flare.
Always Test the Sound Equipment
Few things are more frustrating (or terrifying, in some cases) as last-minute technical issues. To avoid this potential for stress, always conduct a last-minute sound check before the event starts. Make sure all audio and visual setups function ahead of time. And always make sure to have backup systems in place in case the main systems fail.
Welcome Every Opportunity to Speak
Great international public speakers don’t become great by talking to their mirrors (although speaking in front of a mirror is excellent for practicing). The best speakers practice in public by accepting every possible opportunity to speak. If your boss asks you to make a brief presentation, say yes. If your friend invites you to speak at her wedding, agree to do it. Take every chance that comes your way to speak to an audience.
Consider Slowing Down
Everyone expects the speaker to be a little bit nervous when they walk onto a stage, but few things are such a dead giveaway of inner nervousness than racing through your words. If you want to leave a meaningful impact on your listeners, err towards speaking too slowly rather than speaking too fast. This is partly because you want them to understand you and it’s hard to speak clearly and quickly at the same time. But besides that, taking your time with your words gives each statement more weight than it would have if you seemed nervous or in a hurry.
Make Eye Contact
This is one of the most important tips on this list and it always applies, no matter how large or small your audience may be. During your presentation, make eye contact with as many people as possible. This establishes a valuable connection with your audience and makes audience members feel as if you’re speaking directly to them. Be careful to not just exclusively make eye contact with the people in the front row. Show the back rows some attention, too.
Take Long Pauses
Just as you should make it a point to speak slowly and clearly, you should also make long pauses now and then. In fact, make them longer than you feel may be appropriate. This has an incredible impact on emphasizing important points. It also allows you to connect with the emotions of your audience members.
From slowing down during your presentations to taking up any opportunity to speak, these are some of the best tips for speakers.