Public Speaking Tips
by Alexandra Noland
Public Speaking Tips You Never Knew You Needed
The business-wise women in leadership conference at the Greenbrier was rich in inspiring and educational material, one of the most thought provoking sessions was performed by Amy Griggs Kliger. Amy is the co-founder of C3 Consulting and she coaches senior executives and CEO’s on speeches and panel appearances. Not only does she have a successful consulting business but she used to work as an actor in network television, off Broadway, stock and touring companies. She gave the women of this conference tips on speaking that even our most prestigious guests were surprised and excited to learn about. She went further in depth about respecting your audience as well as understanding them than I have ever even began to think about. I am going to share with you the tips Amy shared with us in attendance that were most thought provoking for me:
Starting with your entrance
Most speakers are worried about the opening line to their presentation but, that is not the first time the audience notices you. They notice you the second you become visible. When entering the area you are presenting in the audience will begin to judge you immediately and you need to be open to them the whole time. You want to keep your body positioned out to the audience as much as possible. Once you get to that podium or speaking area you need to take a breath and give the audience a second to accept you and begin to engage.
Amy’s session included a discussion where she addressed how as a presenter you need to understand that the audience becomes one full entity was particularly interesting. While you are on stage they are no longer individuals. The audience is morphed together as one and you have the difficult task of pleasing them. You can’t address them the way you would in a normal situation because presenting is not a normal human situation. You have to realize that the second you walk onto that stage the audience members immediately transform into something else that needs to be tamed in a different way, and that way needs to be tailored for each different audience.
When you are presenting
Amy shared with us that emphasizing things in threes is very important. It is similar to the advice I was given once for making a speech: tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them and then tell them what you told them. It seems redundant but people react better when they are given things in threes. Also a lot of people who present often are not allowed proper time to prepare so the most important parts of the presentation to practice is the beginning and the end. Those are the critical times that the audience will be judging you. If you mess something up in the middle they will forgive you but if you stumble in your opening or closing you will immediately lose your approval with them.
Alexandra Noland is master’s candidate in UC’s Master of Business Administration and Leadership (MBAL) program. For more information on the MBAL program, click here.