13 Ways to Become a Better Professional Speaker

content warfare podcast

Want to learn how to become a better professional speaker?

On this episode of the Content Warfare Podcast, we take a deep dive on what it takes to become a better professional speaker. Specifically, we discuss 13 methods I’ve learned over the course of the last four years, speaking at more than 20 events a year, to deliver more value at each event.

I’ve wanted to do a show on speaking for awhile, but to be honest, until recently I wasn’t confident enough in my own abilities to give advice on how to become a better professional speaker.

On the flight home from Las Vegas after presenting to an amazing group of pet sitters, organized by Josh Cary from PetSittingOlogy, I created the following list of 13 methods I’ve used to become a better professional speaker.

Here are 13 ways to become a better professional speaker:

1) No Bio Intro

No one wants to hear about your life’s accomplishments. Start with a story.

2) Test the Audience

Test your audience at the beginning of your presentation with jokes and anecdotes to get a feel for the mood of the audience.

3) Prepare Transitions

Create smooth transitions from concept to concept so the audience can keep up with your ideas

4) Be Comfortable with Silence

Don’t fear silence. Silence is your friend.

5) Shift Audience Line of Sight

Move your position in the room throughout the presentation to keep the audience focused.

6) Images Not Words

It’s a presentation, not a book report.

7) Humor

If you can be funny, be funny.

8) Relate to Audience

Always try to draw your stories, stats, examples and anecdotes back to the industry or audience you’re speaking to.

9) Mix Personal and 3rd Party Experience

The best presentations are a mix of personal experience with 3rd party stories and case studies.

10) Take Questions

There is nothing that draws an audience into your presentation like engagement. Getting them to answer questions is the easiest form of engagement to manage. Ask questions.

11) Never About You

A successful presentation is never about you and always about your audience. Always.

12) Give Them a Takeaway

Give your audience homework.  Give them something to do, a task to take away from the presentation that will help initiate success based on your advice.

13) Own Your Message

There must be something different about your belief, theory, or process. The audience came to your presentation for an experience. Give it to them.

The Rub

Here’s the deal, these 13 methods are NOT absolutes. Only through practice and preparation will you be able to determine which methods help you become a better professional speaker.

Thank you and good luck,

I am Ryan Hanley

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