Last week I had the good fortune to spend a few days working on my keynote speech at Michael Port’s Heroic Public Speaking Live event in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A good time was had by all–proof of which is in the online photo album below–and I was reminded of the importance of keeping my public speaking skills polished.
I’m a natural born orator, I’ve been talking myself out of things (or into them) since as long as I can remember. I tend to make a lasting impression when I speak in front of a crowd, (not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing), but I do love sharing my story and inspiring others. I always mean it when I say, “If I can do it, you can do it too,” and I love learning new ways to convey my message to others so that they really HEAR it.
With the launch of my new venture Get Yourself Booked, I have met numerous subject matter experts that are looking for public speaking tips. It seems a common question I get asked frequently is how I give such an impassioned keynote speech.
What is my secret? I am passionate. I dig deep. I offer my authentic self. I expose past mistakes buried in my “secret” box and place them squarely into my “public” box, a place from where everyone is welcome to learn. But even with passion driving my message, I too sometimes need to find new ways to improve my story telling and connect my message to my audience.
I realize not everyone can fit something like this three day speaking immersion program into their busy schedules, so I’m sharing with you three public speaking tips I learned in Fort Lauderdale to polish my trade:
- One of the biggest mistakes a public speaker makes is not refreshing his/her story on a regular basis. What do I mean by regular? As regular as the tide turns. Bottom line, in this 24/7 news cycle world we live in, it’s mandatory you check your news feed of choice before you take the stage. Keep things current. Keep pop culture references up to date. Make sure you aren’t referencing something that might hit your audience the wrong way. For instance, if your speech has always referenced Bill Cosby’s comedic genius in a glowing way, at least acknowledge now that you realize his influence has been tainted by allegations in the news.
- Connect with your audience online. It simply isn’t enough to be a “one and done” speaker. Your audience feels more connected to you while you are speaking if they know they can tweet and tag you while you are on stage. They want to Periscope you, Snapchat you and facebook post your presence in their lives. Give them the ability to feel connected to you both onstage and in the virtual world as well. Give them a hashtag to use. Give them your socials. If your keynote speech permits for questions and answers, utilize that same technology to take audience questions via Twitter. If your venue is known for having poor internet service, have your audience utilize the FireChat app which does not require WiFi.
- Take a look at your audience demographic. To who are you speaking? What is new and interesting in their lives? How are their lives evolving? How should and could your public speaking evolve with them? For instance, if you commonly speak to parents about safety then perhaps you would want to work the latest social media apps and the dangers they pose to children into your speech. Let your audience know that you are the subject matter with the most current and up-to-date information on the subject.
Be sure to check out my flickr photo gallery of the event here:
- #JourneyAcrossAmerica Update - May 10, 2017
- CNN Interview for my #RunAcrossAmerica - April 21, 2017
- #WhatsMyWin Training and Interview for my #RunAcrossAmerica - April 21, 2017