In the past decade, I have done hundreds of keynotes as a professional speaker. I have learned several simple techniques on how to quickly make a professional impression as a speaker, even if you only speak occasionally to larger groups:
- Empty your pockets. Otherwise, an audience may start guessing the total value of the coins which bounce in your pocket.
- Take off the name tag. People know who you are.
- Don’t knock on the microphone to test if it works. Not even gently. The sound drives people crazy.
- Ditch the powerpoint if possible. Focus on story telling instead. It also avoids embarrassing technical glitches.
- Take a pause of five seconds, smile, look at the audience, then start speaking.
- Never start with apologizing about the quality of your speech/limited preparation time/how bad you are at speaking. It doesn’t fill the audience with confidence and it can only go downhill from there.
- The way you’re introduced can ruin your success as a speaker. Instruct your introducer precisely. Even better: Bring a script.
- Finally, always end in time. A speaker who knows when to quit, will be loved dearly by any audience.
What are some of your best techniques to make a lasting impression?
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