MP&F’s tips for public-speaking prowess

February 25, 2013

By Diane Hargrove

Our clients call on MP&F to help them be effective communicators. It might be through social media, crisis communications, graphic design or media relations. Last week, we coached two clients speaking at an upcoming national industry conference.

Some of these tips may seem like common sense, but putting them in practice while giving a presentation is harder than you might think. After several takes and a videotaped run-through, our clients were delivering a polished presentation.

MP&F Public Speaking

Courtesy of OSHO News

Next time you’re speaking in front of a group, consider these things:

  • Make your introduction personal and interesting. If you enjoy fly-fishing or Zumba, share that with your audience.
  • Know your audience – who they are, their knowledge level and what they’d enjoy hearing about.
  • Dress above expectation, but not too dressy. If the guys are wearing oxford shirts, put on a sport coat.
  • Get to your presentation early. Greet your audience as they come in, and get to know something about them. Interact with them during your presentation to keep them engaged.
  • Remember, you’re the expert and your audience wants to hear your experience and advice.
  • Empty your pockets before presenting so you’re not playing with change in your pocket.
  • Use your presentation as a tool, not as your script. Keep the text succinct and elaborate on the points you want to make.
  • Be familiar with your presentation so you can share it from memory or by referencing note cards.
  • Look around, look your audience in the eye and try to connect with each of them.
  • Avoid “uh.” Just pause when you’re thinking rather than saying “uh” or “um.”
  • Pretend you are telling a friend or family member about your topic – it doesn’t need to be formal or stilted.
  • Avoid jargon – again, imagine you’re telling your grandma about your topic and describe things as you would to someone not familiar with what you do.

Ragan.com shared the 12 most deadly sins of public speaking. What other tips do you have?

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One Response to “MP&F’s tips for public-speaking prowess”


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