Speaking in public is a skill that takes practice to perfect. There are very few people who nail it on their first public speaking engagement, especially a business event. At corporate events, the stakes are that much higher because a good performance can rocket your career into the stratosphere, whilst a bad performance might mean you’re never invited to speak publicly again!
Successful speakers have several things in common when it comes to business speaking events. Follow their advice, and you can ace your business speaking engagement.
Choose your topic wisely
You may have been asked to speak about a particular topic, such as the sector you work in or leadership in general, or perhaps you have a bit more free reign over the topic you choose. Either way, you’ll want to think carefully about the topic, how you approach it, and what you’re trying to convey with your presentation.
Your audience will play the biggest role in answering these questions. How much experience in the topic do they have? Are they interested in the technicalities or the operational side of things?
Give the audience actionable information
Your talk should allow your audience to do something actionable. What that action is will depend on the topic and the experience level of your audience. Perhaps you’ll encourage further research or recommend reading material to learn even more. Some really good business speakers will include a “task” for their audience, especially if they’re relatively new to the topic.
Remember you’re the star of the show, not your slides
All eyes should be on you during the business presentation, so don’t create a slide deck that will divert the audience’s attention away from what you are saying. You also don’t want to be reading from the slides as this creates for a very dull presentation. The more that you practice your speech the more that you will find that you don’t need to be looking at the slides in front of you.
Practice, then breathe!
Practice your speech several times before giving the presentation, and time yourself if you’ve been allotted a certain amount of time. During the talk, make sure you breathe to allow your audience to absorb your message. If you struggle with your nerves you may want to consider using some Essential Oils such as lavender or geranium on your pulse points and inhale these slowly before you begin your talk.
Remember these key points, and you’ll be invited back for many more business speaking events in the future!