How To Give Great Speeches

If you're a sales manager wouldn't you like to know how to give great speeches?

First of all, I can relate to any anxiety you might have when standing up and talking to groups.

Today I'm a professional speaker and sales trainer.

If you told me I'd be doing this when I was a teenager I would've said you're "NUTS."

Whenever I stood before a group I was riddled with anxiety. It wasn't fun and eventually I discovered the key to eliminating this anxiety.

Fast forward to an ROTC class in my junior year in college.

It's the third week and the instructor points to me and says, "Next class you're teaching chapter 7."

I don't think I slept for two days. I was so scared I prepared. I prepared, prepared and kept preparing until I began my presentation in class.

I still had butterflies in my stomach. Maybe because it was a military class - they were flying in formation.

For me, preparation was the key to eliminating any anxiety associated with giving a speech.

There's a lot to consider if you want to give great speeches.

When you begin your speech you want to avoid all the "YAWN STUFF."

Things like:

"Thanks for being here."

"Let's get started."

"Let's start with the numbers."

"Can I have your attention please."

You want to avoid saying anything that doesn't grab your audience's attention.

And remember this key point. You never start talking until everyone in your audience has stopped talking. When you stand in front of your group with a smile on your face, your audience will eventually stop talking and that's your cue to begin.

Here are four best ways to grab attention:

1. You can begin with a quotation that's related to your topic.

2. You can begin with a rhetorical question.

3. You can begin with a compelling statement.

4. You can begin with a short story that makes a point related to your topic.

Select one of these and prepare and practice until you know it like the back of your hand.

And remember to deliver it enthusiastically.

Here are some do's and don'ts.

When you prepare your presentation start with the outcome in mind. Imagine asking your audience what did they take away from your presentation. Naturally, these become your presentation objectives.

Don't overuse PowerPoint. You can darken the screen between slides by hitting the "Period" key. Hitting the "Period" key again turns the PowerPoint presentation back on again.

Move around to avoid coming across as a statue behind a podium.

People love stories so be sure you tell some.

Do not cling to the podium.

Don't ask, "Are there any questions?" It's better to ask, "What's your reaction to this?"

Remember - less is always more.

Focus on what you want them to remember.

Don't fall in love with your technology.

Beware of the dreaded monotone. Record yourself to see if you have it.

Remember - attention spans are getting shorter and shorter.

Have some fun.

Make it a conversation instead of the presentation.

Be passionate throughout your presentation. Your audience will appreciate your passion and always feed off your energy - so for Pete's sake be energetic!

Be animated.

The four best ways to finish strong include using a quotation, a compelling statement, a rhetorical question, or ending with a powerful story.

Giving great speeches is easy if you work hard at it!

Here's the bottom line for you. Why give good speeches when you can give great speeches.