About 75 percent of people have a fear of public speaking, yet in B2B tech PR and communications in general, this is something we encounter on a daily basis, as we deliver presentations and just about anything else you can imagine.
That’s exactly why earlier this week, a few members of the March Communications team joined the Publicity Club of New England and Dale Carnegie at Wayfair’s office to learn some hidden tricks for successful public speaking. If you weren’t able to attend, check out some highlights from the workshop!
The first question we were asked was about the feeling audience members most often experience when listening to a presentation. We were asked to split up the following feelings by percentage: sleepy, boring and stimulating. We learned that 44 percent described the feeling of listening to a presentation as boring, 40 percent described it as sleepy and a mere 4 percent found it stimulating. So what does this leave us with? A huge opportunity to improve our skills and present with impact.
The first step of improving our public speaking begins with our very first interaction with our audience members. You know the phrase—you only get one chance for a first impression. Appearance is important, but this also means your overall rapport, confidence and body language. Some hidden tips we learned include not wearing distracting, flashy jewelry (especially if you are wearing a microphone), that it’s always better to deliver a presentation standing, avoid the color red at all costs, and if you really just draw a blank in the middle of a presentation, don’t worry—take a breath and be honest with your audience.
The exercise I enjoyed the most was about how to make your introduction stand out. This is essentially the most crucial part of the entire presentation, as it sets the tone for what’s to come. We learned that starting off with an analogy, startling statistic or good news are three tactics a strong presenter often incorporates.
Do you have any tips for successful public speaking? Feel free to leave a comment and let us know!