By Anja van den Berg
Fearless public speaking is about more than combating nerves. It’s about knowing the technique, the art and the business of public speaking.
Confident speaking is the sum of many parts; it’s not just about wrangling the butterflies in your stomach, says Tricia Brouk, an award-winning director, writer, TEDx producer and executive producer of Speakers Who Dare.
“All of the speakers and actors I’ve worked with rely on technique when they walk onto a stage or a set. They don’t simply hope they will connect with the scene or with their scene partner. The same applies to anyone who does public speaking.”
Brouk says that, for maximum results, you need to distil your core message to just 15 words. That may sound like a tall order, but with a little bit of research – and a lot of in-depth planning – you will reap the rewards every time.
Here’s how to package your presentation for maximum results:
- Know your audience inside out
The modern world features endless sources of distraction: everybody has a smartphone. If you fail to secure your audience’s attention, you will lose them instantly. Attempting to build a core message without understanding your audience will doom the success of your presentation. In order to connect with the audience emotionally, you’d need to craft your talk with the language that your audience speaks. This approach will increase the odds that they will comprehend your message and be mobilised by your offering.
- Define your objective
Think about the objective of the talk prior to starting with the preparation of your presentation. Maybe your goal is to get the audience to donate to a worthy cause or spread the word about your ideas. If you want your audience to accept your viewpoints, or change their opinion about something, how are you going to get them to do it? You have fifteen words to drive your message home. When you have a clear objective in terms of what you want, and how to get it, you will be more believable and captivating from the stage.
- Package your core message in 15 words
Once you’ve conquered the research phase, you can move on to content development. Define your core message or Big Idea. You’d need to be able to communicate it in 15 words or less. Choose every word in accordance with your target audience and your objective. Choose words that evoke emotion, excitement, assimilation and action. Don’t save this most important part of your message for the end of your presentation: introduce the audience to the Big Idea very soon after the introduction.
- Have your story straight
You should offer content that is fresh and well edited, with a clear arc that takes your audience on a journey. You’d need to be prepared in such a way that you are able to let go of the script and freely share the content in the moment. Don’t meander into unrelated themes that do not support your core message and objective.
The success of your performance will be rooted in the prepresentation phase. When the butterflies begin to churn your stomach, you will be able to draw on your thorough research of the audience, your understanding of your objective and the keywords you have identified. Grab their attention, communicate the Big Idea, present your call to action, offer avenues for them to reach the proposed goal, make them laugh if you can, and say goodbye. Ready? Here goes nothing!
Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2018/11/to-give-a-great-presentation-distill-your-message-to-just-15-words
Business Mirror: https://businessmirror.com.ph/to-give-a-great-presentation-distill-your-message-to-just-15-words/