Basics of Public Speaking
~ A Step by Step Guide to Successful Presentations ~

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Lesson 8 - The Key to Successful Public Speaking

A Great Lesson in Communication

I had the chance to hear two talks by former World Champion of Public Speaking, Darren LaCroix. He asked the audience, what is the most important part of a presentation? What do you think? He made sure to give us time to consider our own answers. He repeated the question, giving us time to think.

Here is Darren's answer: The most important part of a presentation is "the thought process in the mind of the audience". It is not just "the audience" itself. The key is "what is the audience thinking" during your speech. Do you want a good example? Darren Lacroix's question itself is a perfect example! Why did he give the audience time to think? Why did he repeat his question? He was focused on the audience's thought process.

Focus on the audience, not on words

We often spend time in our speech trying to impress the audience. In the best case, our attempt simply falls flat and makes no impact. In the worst case, we can turn our audience off and lose them completely. Always keep the audience in mind, find ways to help them answer THEIR questions and solve THEIR problems. Be sure they understand your presentation at every step.

Research your audience

To reach your audience successfully, you may have to do research before you present to them. Find out as much as you can about their job, their organization, their worries, their history. Then, you can use that in preparing your speech. As with the former World Champion, ask questions and watch their reactions.

Use this key word!

Use the key word: "you" often. Adapt your language to suit their situation.

You still have to practice!

As with any aspect of public speaking, this will take time. By reading these articles, you are gaining valuable skills. Put these skills to use for your audience. Keep at it, though, and you will learn to be a powerful, successful public speaker.

See Joe's Public Speaking Resource Number 8 to learn more about Darren LaCroix and his unique approach to teaching public speaking skills.

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