When Facebook showed me the picture below as a memory of 5 years ago, I decided to share some tips and ‘do’s & don’ts’ for aspiring speakers. All of these come from my experience in more than 1000 keynotes and 2 TEDx speeches in the past 18 years as a professional speaker.

  • Don’t think about YOU when you’re on stage. Think about your audience and how you can serve them with your knowledge.

  • Be in the moment: don’t memorize your entire speech, but develop a structure, a spine that holds it up, while on stage you add the flesh: the examples, details and stories.

  • Make sure to connect: add more details when your audience needs more time to understand your point and move faster when you feel they can follow you.

  • Make sure you have a good opening line. Somethings that links to the previous speaker, the theme of the event, a joke, a question; anything that immediately connects and draws the attention.

  • At the end of your speech, deliver an impressive last line: a question, an invitation, a statement; any thing that makes it clear that this is your last line and invites the audience to applaud. A ‘natural’ end like this is better than ‘and…. eh… that is what I wanted to say..’

  • Practice, practice, practice. You need to do many presentations in different circumstances to develop your speech, feel confident, be able to improvise when needed and be prepared for professional events. Start small: offer to speak at Rotary and other Service Club events, schools, universities etc.

  • Record videos of your speeches. Even if they’re just Iphone footage: this will give you the opportunity to watch your speech afterwards and see what went well and what could go better next time. Also, there might be some really good shots or quotes or reactions from the audience that you can use on your website or in a demo video.

  • Do NOT: complain about travel delays, explain that you did not have much preparation time, read your slides out loud or think your speech is about you.

See you on stage one day?

Check out this ‘do’s and don’ts for speakers‘ post I found on LinkedIn.

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