Whether you’re an entrepreneur seeking to boost productivity inside your company, or just someone eager to climb up the business ladder and benefit from a successful career, speaking in public can, and will, make an impact. Many of today’s most acclaimed leaders have managed to win people’s hearts through their voice. They’ve learned to master the art of public speaking, and thus influencing people’s minds and perceptions through active communication.
Speaking in front of an audience is easier said than done, particularly in the business environment. As a leader (CEO, entrepreneur, manager) you cannot allow your people to sense your weaknesses. It is important to showcase a tough and decisive attitude. Here’s how you can do that.
Public speaking – a daily activity you cannot run from forever
Persuasive and informational speaking are both fundamental skills you should have if you want to attain success in the business world. Even though entertaining speaking won’t affect your job directly, knowing when and how to use humor is a precious skill that might totally change the vibe in a room and make everyone feel calmer and more relaxed. Despite the fact that speaking in public is a very structured way of speaking to people, a lot of us come across this “social activity” on a daily basis.
As human beings we speak in front of others all the time; and we don’t get nervous. We deal with customers and clients daily, we interview people for a position in our companies, and we often persuade investors to become members of our companies too. All these social skills are tied to public speaking. It also includes additional abilities, such as active communication, body language, and listening. In order to engage people we must first listen to what they have to say to get a general idea of who they are and how they can help our business.
Rehearse & revise
There’s a golden rule in public speaking one cannot overlook to become a great leader: speak about the things you know and know very well the things you’re speaking about. When you’re confident about a subject your chances of missing the mark or messing up are slim. Do your homework and research; make sure that you’re 100% familiarized with the topic under discussion and try not to tackle areas you know very little about.
A great leader never enters meetings unprepared. It is fundamental that you practice your speech aloud. Do it in front of the mirror and record yourself speak. Then revise and correct mistakes. As soon as you’ve started speaking you’ll be able to understand what words fit in and what word don’t. Practice until you’re satisfied with the material. This will give you a feeling of satisfaction, not to mention that it will give you a boost of confidence when the real presentation will have to be delivered.
Know your audience
For a public speech to be successful, the speaker must know his audience. Your presentation won’t have value if it will be delivered in front of people who couldn’t care less for what you’re saying. In the business world, CEOs and entrepreneurs should make an attempt to know their workers. In order to connect with them, you have to understand why your subject or topic matters to them. What should they learn from your speech? Start by not making assumptions as you won’t be able to please everyone in the audience.
Some people may have different opinions than yours and that’s totally fine. It’s also a good idea to recognize their level of knowledge concerning the topic approached. Make sure that they know at least something about it, and if they don’t try to adopt a different approach. Awake their interest, make them curious to know more, and use body language to keep them interested.
Company owners that want to become though leaders cannot run from public speaking forever. There’s no other way of showing your “power” in a company than through speaking to people. You have to make yourself noticed and respected. Share your knowledge with others and be a role model. You can also
hire conference speakers to communicate with employees. The more you communicate with employees and the greater chances you have to win their trust, so why run when public speaking when you can learn to master this beautiful art?