At The BWN we want you to always be in front of the best speakers on key areas of your business. This month got off to a great start in Chelmsford with Jane Malyon, who had the audience laughing, aaaaing, thinking and sympathising all while learning some new ideas for their presentation skills. So we asked her to be a guest blogger to leave a reminder of the things we talked about, so if you were unlucky to miss out you too can benefit from Jane’s great ideas and top tips.
It’s a vital skill in promoting your business to be able to get your message across – whether that’s at network meetings or by giving full speeches, running seminars or making YouTube video blogs! However, there’s no point in delivering lots of information about your company, if it’s uninteresting and unmemorable. People have too little time these days, so we’ve got to deliver our information really well in the moments they will spare us!
It was a pleasure to meet you all and talk at Mandie’s September BWN in Chelmsford and although the headline was about 5 top tips for making your presentation memorable, I always like to undersell and overdeliver…so there were 25! I’ve attached a link to those 25 here. http://www.havebedo.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Jane-Malyons-Top-Tips-for-being-a-Memorable-Public-Speaker.jpg
However, to sum up the 5 top tips…they were:
1. Relate anecdotes, real ones, personal ones, to illustrate the points you are making. People remember stories – and I’m sure all present on Monday will remember me mentioning the time I well and truly split my trousers in the middle of a speech. Oh yay. They may also recall my son having been expelled from nursery school, aged 3 – a record perhaps? Yikes!
2. Use props – the visual element enormously enhances the ability of the audience to take in the points you are making and props add buzz/energy to the presentation too. I showed the idea of hammering 3 separate nails into a piece of wood – each nail representing part of a 3 pronged plan. Use a torch to ‘shine a light on’ or ‘highlight’ your latest feature. Blow up a balloon to represent expansion. Slice a lemon to talk about something fresh in your company or an added zest to your product (smell, vision and sound now are incorporated into your speech!)….give out chocolates because you have a sweet deal to offer. You get the drift! Props need not be elaborate to be effective.
3. Be an Expert on your topic (which is, ideally, a niche area – for generalists are less in demand than specialists. Who would you rather operated on your poor head – a general surgeon or a brain surgeon. Yes, we like specialisms!). Regurgitating someone else’s info is not the same as being a master of your own subject. So create your niche, know your subject – and then rehearse your presentation if that helps you to flow well.
4. However, being an expert is not enough and it’s important to Entertain your audience. It’s challenging being a listener, especially if they have to be a listener for a long time, so make it easy for them – be lively, vital, interesting to watch. Add movement, use your arms to make air sculptures. Use the full spectrum of your voice, change the pace, add pauses. Delivering info is one thing – doing so interestingly is another. If you are the speaker, it’s your job to be entertaining! It’s no time to be self-conscious because that just gets in the way of the message. Book a coaching session with me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if your inner gremlins get in the way of your expert delivery! We’ll oust those doubts and get you on that stage!
5. Above all, smile and engage and involve your audience. Puncture the invisible wall between you and them. Get them raising their hands or joining in. Don’t allow anyone to snooze during your talk, by helping them to be part of the event! If you’ve ever attended an all day event, you’ll know that the after-lunch slot is the hardest, when the audience goes into siesta mode! So smile, engage and light up the stage with your wonderfulness. The smile also lets the audience know they are in safe hands, not watching someone acutely embarrassed to be presenting to them.
Thanks Jane! And remember you are always welcome back at The BWN in the audience and on stage!