Public Speaking 101

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Whether you’re giving a presentation at a meeting or speaking at a conference, having some basic public speaking skills will enable you to better deliver your message.  Not only can good public speaking skills enable you to better promote your business, but it can even help with those daily interactions you have with clients.  Here are 8 tips on developing more effective public speaking skills:

1. Make eye-contact. Whatever you do, don’t read from a stack of note cards without looking up to connect with your audience.  If possible, it’s also good to move around a little, although avoid pacing back and forth; that will make everyone nervous.

2. Know your audience. Your message should be catered to your audience and that can’t happen until you know who your audience is. Consider who you’ll be speaking to, including their wants, needs and most pressing concerns.  Only then can you say something they actually want to hear.

3. Practice makes perfect. Especially when you’re presenting to a group.  It can also calm your nerves to know you’ve practiced the speech before going public.  And going through your speech will help you recognize problem spots that either don’t make sense or are difficult to say aloud.  If possible, practice in front of a safe audience of family and/or friends who can give you feedback on your delivery.

4. Know your material. Whether it be accounting principles, QuickBooks tips or investment advice, it’s important that you know what you’re talking about.  Be sure that you’ve done all the necessary research and anticipated all the possible questions your audience might raise.

5. Double-check all your technology. If you’re using a projector, a PowerPoint Presentation, a microphone or even a laser pointer, be sure that it’s working properly before your begin.  You don’t want to waste precious time trouble-shooting.

6. Involve the audience. Some are afraid to ask the audience questions because they expect no response.  The truth is people like to talk.  They appreciate the opportunity to contribute and share their two-cents.  And the more you involve them, the more invested they’ll be in your presentation.

7. Watch seasoned public speakers.  If you want a quick lesson on public speaking skills, sit through a seasoned speaker’s presentation.  Pay particular attention to how they break the ice, get others involved, and deliver key ideas.

8. Be Yourself. The most important thing is for you to be yourself.  Relax, be personable and don’t do anything that feels uncomfortable or unnatural.  You’ll find that this one tip, in and of itself, will help the audience warm up to you more than any other.

You’ll find you become more at ease with public speaking the more often you do it.  The experience will help you become more confident and comfortable promoting yourself and your business.  Not only that, but it will make you more at east when interacting with clients as well.

Let Universal Inspire You

If you’d like to watch public speaking at its best, invite UAC’s motivation speakers to attend a special event, conference or office retreat.  Universal Accounting Center has some exceptional speakers on staff who can motivate you and your team to excel.  With a number of individuals experienced in a variety of topics, they can help you better serve your clients, better market your practice, and better grow your wealth.  Learn more about Universal Accounting Center’s speaker and book one for your next event!

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