Public speaking is an important skill for career success. Many entrepreneurs need to give presentations, or want to speak at networking events, or may even decide to host their own live webinars or podcasts. Public speaking (or fear of) can not only hold professionals back, but can make or break business deals or pitches.
If you want to make yourself heard, follow these steps for effective communication:
- Know your audience. Do your research. Find out ahead of time what they want and what they need.
- Practice. Practice. Practice. Be prepared. Memorize your speech if you need to. You want your presentation to be automatic, not reading from note cards with your head down the whole time.
- Keep it relevant. Try and focus on one single most important point and make sure you get that point across. Don’t waste people’s time.
- Stop and listen. It’s important to listen to your audience. Answer questions. And don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know.”
- First impressions matter. Be aware of your own body language. Stand up straight, make eye contact, and smile.
With enough practice, you can improve your communication and presentation skills, and public speaking will just be one more thing you do great to improve your business!