By Sylvia Baldock, Personal Presence and Team Dynamics Specialist

Sylvia Baldock is a Personal Presence and Team Dynamics specialist, Talent Dynamics Consultant and trainer, author, public speaker and a business/personal coach. Well qualified to comment on businesses, Sylvia also runs several networking groups, is a member of the Professional Speaking Association and the Federation of Small Businesses, is a Growth Accelerator approved training provider, and is a sought after speaker who works closely with the NHS.

1. Take note from the professionals

Some people are naturally brilliant at holding their own on stage, so take notes from the best. Watch how they speak or stand, use their hands, how they dress, how they involve the audience and so on. Analyse the traits that work for you and adapt them to make them your own. Make sure your material is thoughtful, relevant and to the point.

2. Know your content

Knowing your content well means you can convey passion and confidence. Keep up to date with the latest news so you are prepared for questions and you are able to answer them with conviction. Having some new statistics or recent findings will position you as an expert in your field.

3. Know your audience

Prior to speaking in front of people, do your research on the audience. Who are they? What are they interested in? How many will be there? Will you get a chance to talk to them afterwards? It may seem obvious, however it is important to create your content around the needs of your audience to ensure they are fully engaged.

4. Practice

Even the best public speaker needs to practice their talk. Practice until you feel really confident in your delivery. Practice in front of a family member, partner or colleague and ask for their feedback. If you are likely to forget the content, keep prompt cards to hand which you can relate too. However, make sure you don't just read through them, they are only there as prompts.

5. Get them involved

If you just talk at your audience for a long time it can be draining and uninteresting for them and their attention will undoubtedly start to waver. Every so often allow the audience to interact. Ask them questions and give them something practical to do to emphasise the points you are trying to make. Keep good eye contact with your audience and be intuitive as to when it is time to shake things up a little.

6. Relax

Keep calm and take your time. More often than not we know when someone is nervous because they talk quietly and rapidly. If you feel a little uneasy, take a deep breath, hold for a couple of seconds, look up and make eye contact with your audience and begin speaking clearly and slowly. Pauses will give you time to think and your audience time to absorb your wisdom, they also make you appear more confident.

7. Anecdotes

Using anecdotes in your talk will not only emphasise the point you are trying to make but often brings it alive and helps engage the audience.

8. Small errors are okay

If you forget what you say, take a stumble or say the wrong thing it really doesn’t matter especially if you can turn it into a little joke. People do it all the time, so don't keep thinking about why you did it, laugh it off and just keep going. Nobody knows what you had planned to say next.

9. Wrapping things up

Knowing when enough is enough is really important. Finish with a memorable thought and keep something back that is likely to make them want to hear more.

10. Gratitude goes a long way

Always take a moment to thank the hosts and your audience. Show them that you are grateful for the opportunity and that you appreciate everyone’s time.

For further press information or to set up an interview, please contact:-
Hazel Scott on 07966 234 757 hazel@kaicommunications.co.uk

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