As I have told you several times, personal branding can (and must) also be practiced in the real world. Previously I dedicated specific articles to the curriculum vitae and business card , real bulwarks of traditional personal promotion. Today I want to focus on an equally fundamental piece for offline personal branding: public speaking .
Public speaking is a big and important test for your personal branding.
Although for many it represents an insurmountable obstacle (later on I will give you some advice on how to overcome the so-called glossophobia ), speaking “face to face” with your audience is, at a certain point in your path, a natural act that can make you perform a decisive leap in quality to your personal brand.
Consolidate you as an expert
Doing public speaking through conventions , business meetings or taking courses and lessons will increase your credibility exponentially and will favor your being perceived as an expert .
Taking for granted that you know what you are talking about, people will only appreciate your mastery of the subject and, like the simplest of associations of ideas, will remember your name when it comes to dealing with the topic to which your brand is linked.
It makes you more popular
With public speaking you can give free rein to your desire to share . A feature that, if sincere and passionate, cannot fail to leave an indelible mark on those who follow you. The more you spread valuable contributions , the greater the number of people who will talk about you and share your thoughts (on social media but not only). Public speaking is a very powerful amplifier for your brand.
It makes you love more
Speaking live, without any filter, is a unique way to empathize with people. When you look them in the eye, you show your flaws (yes, even those are part of your personal brand), you make them smile and allow them to enter your world, you create a very strong connection . A bond that will make you get “unconditional love” from others who will soon become your fans, followers or simple admirers. Talking remains the most effective way to make your mark.
“Making mistakes or being a little clumsy makes you nice” – Neil Pavitt
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As I said at the beginning, however, for many, public speaking represents a hard obstacle to overcome.
Avoiding aping psychologists and motivators, I will not talk to you about managing anxiety, breathing techniques or adequate postures. I will simply try to provide you with six practical tips that can help you overcome this phobia and give life to an effective and engaging public speech.
- Don’t lose the thread
The essential element for any good speech is the common thread . It is absolutely important to focus on a main idea that keeps the public glued to your exhibition. Some digressions are granted to you, but without excess. It always remains anchored to the main theme and when you feel that you are going too far it immediately falls into the ranks. If you are confused in the exhibition, you will immediately lose attention.
- Draw the structure
As far as the structure is concerned, taking up the theory of Sir Ken Robinson (C. Anderson, How to speak in public , 2017) an ideal scheme can be the one that provides:
- An introduction on the topic you will deal with
2. A context in which to place your intervention
3. Of the main concepts (not too many)
4. Of the practical implications
5. Of the conclusions
Obviously everyone remodels the structure according to their own times and inclinations. The important thing is to have a well tested one.
- Challenge yourself
Ask yourself these questions: is my topic interesting ? It’s curious about? Does it bring value to those who listen to me? Will I be able to answer every question? Can I say all I have to in the allotted time ? Obviously it is important that each answer is affirmative. If not, try to figure out how to make it that way by reorganizing your speech.
- Think of the audience
Knowing what kind of interlocutor you have in front of you is fundamental. Only in this way can you prepare a speech focused on his needs . In public speaking, each intervention must be modeled according to the listener. If you use “pre-packaged” speeches, good “for all seasons”, you will never get the right involvement from the listener and your credibility will be affected.
“Every place requires a particular shape and an appropriate style of eloquence” – Quintiliano
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- Look for accomplices
One of the easiest ways to overcome the impact with an audience (whether it is made up of 10 or 1000 people) is to use what I have renamed the “accomplices method” .
Before you start talking, take a few minutes. He scrutinizes the very first rows and, playing with eye contact , searches for a couple of people at the two ends of the room with whom you feel a “skin” harmony . Once the contact is established, carry it on for the duration of your intervention.
In times of difficulty seek their gaze. Their approval. You will see that all the rest of the audience will disappear. This way you can calm down and finish your piece smoothly.
If you really can’t look people in the eye, try to focus your attention on certain points in the room. It’s not quite the same, but the effect should calm you down anyway.
- Keep up the pace
A bored and absent audience is one of the worst nightmares for any speaker. If you want to avoid that your audience has the same enthusiasm as Fantozzi and members in front of the umpteenth screening of the “Battleship Potëmkin” you have to play a lot on the rhythm of your intervention. In the first place, your tone of voice must always be bright, never monotonous. Modulate it , create emphasis at certain times and relax it in others. Use visually striking images and words (without exaggerating though) full of strength and meaning . If possible, interactwith the audience, soliciting it with questions (never complex) and opinions. Everything will flow quickly and fun.
“In the right tone, everything can be said. In the wrong tone, nothing. ” – George Bernard Shaw
What do you think of these 6 tips? Do you already follow them? I’m curious to know your opinion … obviously with a nice speech in public!