I am a professional speaker. I’ve been doing it for years. However, there are always new tricks of the trade to learn. There are always things you can improve upon. Here are just a few tips to get the creative thoughts flowing. Sometimes, you just need to stop and evaluate what you are delivering, how your are delivering it and if it is time to “shake it up a bit”.
Make the event organizers feel great about having booked you. I like to write them personal thank you notes and I often bring a little present just for them.
Ask for their cell phone number in case you need to reach them in a hurry. (Like the time I was told that a car service was picking me up. When I arrived I was told at the airport that the town had no car service.)
Change your presentation, at least a little bit, every single time you deliver it. Feeding off audience participation is a great way to do this.
Always greet people as they enter the room. This helps you connect with them before you even begin speaking.
Don’t over talk. Make your points easy and quick to hear and digest. Don’t use large words to impress them or long speeches just to hear yourself talk.
Love what you’re talking about. If you don’t it will come through in your presentation.
Be yourself. Your personality is part of why you were booked. Have fun and mix it up a little bit.
You are an expert in your field. However, you are there to provide information for THEM, not to hear the sound of your own voice.
Tell them what they will gain by listening to your presentation. Make your information effective for improving their lives.
Provide expert knowledge. If you are an expert providing information, it will be more like a friend delivering a message, rather than a “speaker” who is talking “at” the audience.
Know where you are going, who you are meeting and arrive early. There will always be technical difficulties, allow time for them.
If you make a mistake, move on. Chances are the audience doesn’t know.
Use antidotes to convey your message. Ask audience members to provide real life situations to help you get your point across.
Sell from the back of the room AFTER your presentation, not from the stage.
Ask for feedback. (And take it well!)
Leave time for questions and answers. If you want participants to wait until the end of the presentation, be clear about that.
Make your slides simple and clear. Don’t read from them while you present.
Record your sessions if possible and review them for areas of improvement.