Deb Volberg Pagnotta, Founder of Interfacet.inc,
Communications consultant, professor, presenter, lawyer, storyteller
1. Choose a topic that relates to something or someone that you LOVE and that you LOVE talking about. If you don’t care about the subject, it’s much harder to get the audience to care.
2. Make the topic (and speech) audience relevant upfront – that is, let the audience know in your opening what their “takeway” will be. If it is a particular skill, zero in on HOW/WHEN the audience might be able to use that and why it will be incredibly useful!
3. Use the “SUCCES” parameters suggested by Chip and Dan Heath in their great book “Made to Stick.” (That is NOT a typo!) Simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional story. Read chapter 1. It’s well worth it.
4. Don’t speak in generic terms: be specific, precise, and “gritty”.
5. Make frequent eye contact around the audience.
6. Do NOT use notes – you should know your topic back and forth.
7. Vary your vocalics: that is, vary your speaking pace, volume, pitch and pausing.
8. Give something of genuine value to the audience: that really will help them at some point.
9. Be authentic. Don’t pretend to be somebody you are not. But tap into your own experiences, observations, and life.