“If you can speak, you can influence. If you can influence, you can change lives.” – Robert Brown
Public speaking can be nerve-racking no matter how much experience you have. Stepping in front of a room full of people is no small feat and it’s a powerful tool for transforming the world. Take it from Linda-Marie Miller, professional speaker and First Runner-Up in the 2020 World Championship of Public Speaking. During our tenth podcast episode, Secrets of the World’s Best Public Speakers, Linda-Marie revealed her best practices for public speaking virtually and in person.
Here are her favorite success tips for delivering an impactful keynote presentation.
BE VULNERABLE & AUTHENTIC
Linda-Marie’s top attribute for successful communication is this: be vulnerable and authentic no matter what. Your audience can sense when you’re being disingenuous from a mile away. Stop caring what you look like and start considering how you want your listeners to be different after your presentation.
Changing the world isn’t about you. It’s about creating an experience that inspires your audience to be different. Appealing to your listeners’ hearts and minds will always be more effective than trying to lecture or instruct them. Instead, make it your personal mission to make them feel something. This will succeed in making your presentation easy to remember in the future.
NEVER HIDE BEHIND YOUR SCREEN
With virtual presentations at an all-time high, it might seem easy to hide behind your powerpoint. Never forget that YOU are the presentation. Rather than sharing your screen and making yourself a small talking head in the corner, Linda-Marie recommends making your presentation your background so you can still remain in the frame. This allows you to better connect and engage with your audience.
And remember—the average attention span of a human being is 4 minutes and 12 seconds. Your presentation is your visual aid, but YOU are the star of the show. Don’t be afraid to be different or over-the-top to engage your audience. Do whatever it takes to keep all eyes and minds on you. Connect with the lens at all times so no one is tempted to walk away from their screen or turn off their camera.
TAILOR YOUR PRESENTATION
No one wants a one-trick pony who only has a single specialty. Be intentional and proactive about uncovering your public speaking strengths and weaknesses. Leverage all of your skills to keep your audience captivated. Commit to being a lifelong learner who is constantly expanding their craft and sharpening their abilities.
Don’t be afraid to survey your colleagues to discover your keynote specialty, either! Getting an outside opinion on your skills from a trusted source can be highly valuable. It can also help you identify blind spots and hidden strengths you might not have expected.
Incorporate these public speaking tips into your next business presentation to enhance your communication skills. You can catch the full conversation with Linda-Marie Miller here.