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Public Speaking: Convey Your Passion to Your Audience

The One Criteria for Building Your Signature Speech

Do Your Own Thing by Pie4Dan, Creative Commons

Do Your Own Thing by Pie4Dan, Creative Commons

Two events recently made me reflect on an audience and the impact of public speaking.

One was hearing a keynote address by tech entrepreneur and champion of Twitter Laura Fitton. The other was reading a quote from Gel Conference creator Mark Hurst.

Laura gave the opening keynote address at last year’s Blogworld Expo. She offered plenty of knowledge on Twitter applications and entrepreneurship. But that didn’t drive her speech.

What did: Her passion for how an online social network made her and many others more connected – and in the end, the world is becoming a less isolated place in her view. It compelled me to look at social networks in a different way. Her story of authentic enthusiasm came across like a unique ‘signature of attitude.’ And then in Seth Godin’s fantastic ebook of insights by thought leaders in business, digital tech, and more – Mark Hurst said:

“People at events are hungry for authenticity. [As a speaker] …you have to build the talk around your passion.”

Sure it’s critical to know the specific audience before you as a speaker – the time requirements, good speech mechanics, stage tech, etc. The goal is not to give generic presentations to every audience. But what Mark conveyed (and what Laura demonstrated) is this:

It’s worth recognizing clearly what exhilarates us as business owners and relate to the audience through that attitude.

Three questions that helped me articulate driving passion in speeches for greater audience impact:

  1. What is your driving motivator?
  2. How can that motivation be described in a story (and then become your signature story that conveys what you believe in most?)?
  3. How can that story relate to what your specific audience requires? An example comes to mind from a professional photographer who described her workshops recently.

She said: “There’s a lot of technical instruction involved in my workshops. But what I really help my audience understand is how to give the world an archive of beauty!”

That’s her driving passion and I couldn’t wait to help fill her workshop with attendees. What do you think? What does the passion in your signature speech look like?

Jill Foster, SCORE Guest Blogger
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Public Speaking: Make Yourself Memorable

Tips on How to be an Effective & Memorable Speaker

Public speaking is a great way to promote your business.  You instantly become credible and can share your expertise.  I just attended an event at the Chamber of Commerce where three speakers presented on topics, but they had no idea what types of businesses were present.

Mistake: Not knowing who is in the audience and speaking on a topic that is not relevant. This makes the audience walk away feeling like they wasted their time.

Solution: Know your audience by having them introduce themselves. Not only do you want to know their names, the names of their businesses and perhaps even a short elevator speech. You may also want them to include information that they hope to learn or questions they would like answered.

Tips on How to be More Effective

  1. Always know your audience and talk about the information that they are interested in.  As an expert it is essential to present valuable information that can be useful and practical.
  2. Always give your background and credentials with some proven measures of success to build credibility.
  3. Share real life stories that are relevant to the information being presented, it always makes a talk more interesting.
  4. Engage the audience.  If you can get audience participation it makes the talk more effective.  Encourage questions.
  5. Enthusiasm is essential when speaking.  Being a dynamic speaker keeps the audience attention and makes you more memorable.

Always know that when you speak the audience is looking to be entertained and at the same time you are educating them.  Always engage the audience and encourage networking.  You never know who you may meet at any event.   Share stories and ways to keep lectures interesting.

Julie Brander - Business Mentor, SCORE New Haven
Julie has been a SCORE volunteer since 1997. She has 20 years of experience in business, starting a manufacturing, wholesale and retail jewelry company. After selling her business, she dedicated herself to helping other entrepreneurs start and expand their business. | @juliebrander | More from Julie


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