Public speaking is a skill that just about everyone must use in both their real lives and in their careers. At some point, you will be delivering a toast at a wedding or giving an important presentation.
Advisors, in particular, stand to benefit from honing their ability to speak in public, but there aren’t a ton of CE courses out there that focus on this traditionally “soft” skill. Fortunately, there are concrete practices that can help make anyone a more confident, skilled public speaker.
Below are some easy public speaking dos and don’ts that can help even a novice public speaker control a crowd, as well as tips and tricks to take your presentations to the next level.
Public Speaking Dos and Don’ts
DO keep your hands at your side, relaxed.
DON’T gesticulate unless you are emphasizing a specific point.
DO plant your feet firmly on the ground.
DON’T sway or shift position.
DO vary your cadence and rhythm to create a dynamic and exciting vocal style.
DON’T look at the ground.
DO look your audience in the eye and connect with them.
DON’T forget to breathe!
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Tips and Tricks
Practice in front of a mirror.
Memorize what you want to say, if possible, but if you mess up don’t sweat it. Nobody can tell except for you. A presentation or speech you are comfortable with will give you the freedom to improvise and expand.
When you connect to something personal in your speech, let the audience see you thinking by looking up instead of down at your feet. This way the audience can see your eyes.
Stillness and silence can feel strange to the presenter but look quite powerful to an audience when properly employed.
If things go off-course, don’t panic. Acknowledge whatever has happened to derail the presentation – preferably with humor – and remain calm. One thing that’s helpful to remember is that nobody wants you to fail. If people are watching someone speak, they don’t want to be bored or indifferent. They want to hear something life-changing, big, and powerful. They want you to blow them away. Ultimately, they are on your side.
Finally, it’s important to see how you react to other public speakers. What were the best presentations or speeches you’ve ever witnessed? What was the speaker doing and why did it work for you?
We’ll have many skilled public speakers at Exchange: An ETF Experience ready to help advisors navigate a myriad of unique issues, stay on top of the latest finance trends, and provide expert advice.
Exchange has reserved the Fontainebleau for the duration of the event. Registration is now open: www.exchangeetf.com.
Individuals must register for the event to reserve rooms at the hotel during the event. Attendees are encouraged to register and reserve their rooms early, as the hotel is expected to sell out.
More information is available here, including the chance to sign up to receive updates on speakers, the agenda, and sponsorship opportunities.
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