For many the very thought of speaking in public can send shivers through their bones, and cause a cold sweat to form instantly. For those with careers that demand the odd conference speech now and again this can cause some difficulties. However, with a little creative flare, some humour and a lot of preparation any one can make a killer conference speech.
As with any business project or task the drawing board should always start with planning. Take time to dissect and analysis what it is your being asked to do. What is the conference for? What have you been asked to talk on? Why have YOU been asked to speak? These are all questions that once answered will help you formulate some initial ideas and content for your speech.
Your next step should be to take your initial ideas and break them down. This will help you understand every aspect of your speech and uncover any valuable points, details and information that at first glance you may have over looked. Another benefit of breaking down your content is that you will become more and more familiar with it, building knowledge and confidence towards it. It is often those that rush this initial part that end up in a mess come the day they need to give their speech.
Once you have the basic content of your speech and you’re confident that you understand it you can start to add the X-Factor. By this I mean the aspects of your speech that will make you stand out and leave your audience engaged, inspired, entertained and wanting to here more. For this you should really let your creative side shine through. Use your skills and talents to your advantage. This may include using film, music, images to illustrate points that you are making. Make references, references to popular culture always help to create relationships between your audience and your content. Be humorous, a good joke at the start will relax both yourself and your audience, making the rest of your speech far easier to get through.
On the day there are various preparations you can make to ensure that your conference speech runs smoothly and successfully. Depending on the formality of the event, wear clothes that are comfortable and allow you to stand at ease. Being comfortable is half the battle won, when it comes to public speaking. Do not go over and over your speech, the information will already be retained, over thinking things can cause anxiety and this is far more likely to make you stumble and forget. Find a moment to clear your head, go outside, get some fresh air, and be alone to gather your thoughts. Finally make sure you have a glass of water at hand, the most common symptom of nerves is a dry mouth, and this can be devastating when trying to make a speech.
Public speaking need not be the bane of your career. The key to success is in your preparation. By taking the time to approach your speech in an organised and well planned manner, you will set yourself up for success.
Peter Grant has been apart of the financial advice industry in Edinburgh for over 10 years. He often speaks at conference venues in edinburgh. In his spare time he enjoys sharing his experiences and advice by writing articles online.