[Image by JaredfromSpace from Pixabay]

Are you ready to shift?  I’m talking about shifting from being an ordinary speaker to an extraordinary speaker. Most speakers want to make the shift but may not know how to do this.  Here’s how…

  1.  Ensure that your audience wants to hear about your topic.  We’re talking about relevance.  Sounds pretty simple and yet many speakers will share information that listeners don’t really care about.  Be certain that the company or person hiring you knows why your topic matters and can easily state that to you.
  2.  Write a captivating intro (vs. a bio) of you. An intro is quite different from a bio and ideally sets you up to succeed.  A well written intro tells the audience why they should listen to you.  Your bio lists where you’ve worked and what you’ve accomplished and is usually readily available to read (vs. hear) possibly on your website.
  3. Get to know who will be listening to you.  Do your best to get acquainted. Initially, this can possibly be accomplished with a brief phone call or if you prefer to get to know people in person, then it’s best to arrive early. When you enter the room in which you’ll be speaking, approach approximately 5-7 people and make a connection with them.  Smile warmly, introduce yourself, ask people’s names and ask what they want to hear about your topic.
  4. Engage your listeners.  There are a variety of ways you can do this but for starters consider asking open-ended questions, asking people to write something down or asking your audience to move (e.g., raise their hand, turn to a person on their right/left, stand up).
  5. Use the names of your audience.  You don’t have to do this with a large group however, when you address someone by name it’s a form of customization or personalization.  The majority of individuals will feel flattered by this, and it will also increase their ability to retain information.
  6. Adhere to time as it shows respect.  Avoid extending your speaking time; better to end a little short vs. speaking too long. Part of your practice must include timing yourself, so you know how much time is needed. Best to do this in segments as opposed to timing your entire speech.  That way you can adjust your time as needed.
  7. Become adept at telling a couple of stories.  Stories are very enticing to people especially if told well and if they are a good fit with your message. You’ll want to practice telling stories and add that to your overall timing.

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of ideas.  While there are multiple ways to shift from being an ordinary to an extraordinary speaker, this list of seven strategies gives you a good start.  Feel free to add to this list or if you’d like to discuss this topic further, you may email dale@profitablespeech or call (518-664-6004) and I’ll be eager to discuss helping you make the shift.

Hope to hear from you and always interested in your thoughts.