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How to Take Your Public Speaking Skills to the Next Level for Your Business Success

June 25, 2024
10 min read
How to Take Your Public Speaking Skills to the Next Level for Your Business Success
Watching the most famous public performances by the world’s top entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and others, it can be easy to be impressed by their confidence, wisdom, and strong ability to entertain and motivate large crowds.

Of course, you might think that they’ve all got years and years of experience in media presence and that not every businessperson can boast such a massive mastery of public speaking. But what if we tell you that you’re wrong?

Public speaking might not be the most obvious must-have skill for business success. Yet, it matters much more than you can think. With the help of public speaking, you can learn to get your message across more accurately, build confidence, and make your business grow.

But how do you accomplish this if you are not particularly well-versed in giving speeches?

We have you covered! In this article, we are going to tell you about the importance of public speaking skills and ways to level them up with ease.

Top Reasons Entrepreneurs Need Public Speaking Skills

Public speaking may not be a casual thing you need to do day-to-day as a business owner. Still, giving speeches from time to time can give you more benefits than you think.

Let’s briefly review the top reasons that prove why these skills matter for business people:

It Improves Your Communication Skills

Surveys reveal that business owners name two primary factors that contribute to becoming a successful entrepreneur. 38% say that it’s self-discipline and 37% claim that you need people and exceptional communication skills to reach the top.

Communication is indeed considered to be among the most important things in the business landscape, and it’s an equally valuable skill both for entrepreneurs and employees. It helps you build a good rapport with your partners, investors, and customers. Besides, your communication skills are among the most crucial things for effective teamwork inside your organization. Given that 23% of businesses fail due to poor communication and teamwork, it’s quite important.

Public speaking can help you hone your communication skills, which can change a lot for your company.

It Makes You Feel More Comfortable Around New People

Meeting new people and building lasting relationships with them is a big part of every entrepreneur’s job. The so-called networking can give you many unique opportunities, including:

  • Connecting with your customers better;

  • Finding additional cash flows for your brands;

  • Meeting mentors who can help you multiply your success;

  • Negotiating projects and terms with suppliers and partners effectively;

  • And so on.

Despite all these benefits, networking is proven to cause severe anxiety in as many as 75% of individuals. If you are among them, chances are that your anxiety comes from a banal discomfort from being around new people. Practicing speech delivery can help you get more comfortable.

Besides, there is an additional benefit to public speaking. It makes you feel not only more comfortable but also more confident while speaking to people from different groups. Needless to say, enhanced confidence is also very important for good leaders who are looking to grow their businesses.

It Makes You a Better Storyteller

The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller...

Steve Jobs

Public speeches are much like stories. They have to be engaging and lively. They also must contain vivid details and attention-grabbing twists, just like real stories. Hence, giving them requires you to be a storyteller.

Respectively, by becoming more proficient in giving speeches, you also become better at storytelling. You learn how to grab and retain the audience’s attention and how to develop your own or your brand’s story effectively.

If you are wondering how becoming a storyteller can help your business grow, the only thing you must know is that storytelling yields 30% higher conversion rates. These days, it’s one of the most effective marketing methods, so you want to become good at it to overshine the competition.

It Helps You Learn How to Sell Yourself and Your Business

Delivering speeches is a great way to get noticed and establish your credibility. Every speech you give in a public medium, be it an event, conference, or any other occasion, is your chance to get in front of a big crowd and demonstrate the value of your business.

If you learn to sell yourself and your business to wide audiences, it will help you attract a wealth of opportunities and new customers.

10 Ways to Hone Your Public Speaking Skills

1. Refine Your Writing Skills

First and foremost, to become a good public speaker, you must learn how to organize your message effectively in written form. Take time to explore the right speech framework and structure. Then, practice writing your stories. The more you practice, the better speech writer you become.

To get started, don’t hesitate to enlist professional help. Just like students can turn to essay writing services to write my English essay for me, you can delegate speech writing to professionals and learn from them.

2. Learn to Get to Know and Understand Your Audience

A brilliant speech is the one that resonates with the audience. That is, to refine your public speaking skills, you must learn to understand your audiences and tap into their needs.

Practice researching and analyzing your listeners similar to how you research your ideal buyers. Learn to adapt your message to the specific needs, interests, and pain points of different audiences. Also, learn to use audience analysis to determine the right language and tone of voice in your speeches.

3. Practice Your Body Language and Voice

Your voice, shoulders, hands, and other body signals give out your nervousness during public speaking and thus worsen the impact you can make.

Stick to these essential tips:

  • Straighten your back;

  • Use proper posture;

  • Relax your shoulders;

  • Don’t cross your arms;

  • Lean in a little to reduce the distance and build trust;

  • Smile;

  • Practice effective communication gestures to emphasize your ideas;

  • Make eye contact with your audience.

Additionally, explore and practice effective communication strategies. Learn to speak at a moderate pace, varying the volume and using inflections. Also, leverage pauses and facial expressions to emphasize important ideas.

The more you practice, the sooner you will find the right tone of voice and body language.

4. Make It More You

One of the biggest mistakes inexperienced speakers make is not letting their personalities come through their speeches. Due to anxiety and nervousness, many people tend to pretend while on a stage instead of being themselves. And this is something you should work on to improve your skills.

Try various approaches to add a personal touch. First of all, you should use personal stories and examples that help convey your message. Also, don’t be afraid to use personal pronouns and real names to create a greater level of trust.

Finally, to let audiences see you as a real person, you need to learn to let go of control and relax during public speaking.

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Be Funny

Even if we are talking about serious business speeches, some laughter never hurts. Experts claim that personal stories and a bit of humor also help add a personal touch to a speech and people love it.

Thus, try injecting anecdotes into your speeches and practice delivering them naturally. Humor can increase the audience’s trust and also help you relax in the process.

6. Practice Working From an Outline

Another common mistake beginners make is reading from a script. Of course, a fully pre-written text for a speech can give you more confidence in not missing some important details. But it will kill the interpersonal connection with your audience.

An effective speech should flow naturally and adapt to the audience’s mood, requests, and needs. Hence, the best way to deliver it is to work from an outline. Practice writing brief outlines for your speeches and improvise based on them. This will help you create a more personable voice and make your audience trust you more.

7. Learn to Open With a Hook

The beginning of a speech is one of its most crucial parts. According to statistics, you only have the first 15 seconds to use that chance to make the right impression on your audience. If you manage to do this, you will likely retain the interest of the audience until the end of your speech. But if not, you will lose their attention.

That is, you must start strong. Use the well-known hook strategy to accomplish this. A hook can be a quote, rhetorical question, impressive statistics, shocking fact, or anything that instantly grabs the listeners’ attention.

Practice writing effective hooks that will help you drive attention and start your speeches strong. Also, don’t hesitate to use a dynamic ending in your speeches for a greater impact. Remember that the opening and ending clauses of your performance are what make the biggest part of the impression listeners get of you.

8. Complement Your Message With Strong Audiovisuals

Various audio and visual elements can play a huge role in your speech. They can help you grab and retain the listeners’ attention and emphasize the key ideas you are going to share. Moreover, it’s proven that a combination of various components greatly increases information retention.

Studies show the following:

  • The retention of audio-only material is 10% after 72 hours.

  • The retention of visual material after the same time is 35%.

  • Yet, the retention of material that combines the two is as high as 65%.

To use this for your benefit, you must learn to extract the most important points from your speeches and present them in the form of audiovisual components.

However, don’t overuse such elements because it can break the interpersonal connection between you and your audience. Instead, use audiovisuals sparingly, making sure they enhance your speech.

9. Practice the Art of Finishing Your Speech on Time

Without a doubt, effective time management is a top skill in business. And it also matters a lot in public speaking.

Even though an effective speech should flow naturally and adjust to the audience, this never means that it can last longer than expected. Numerous surveys confirm that 100% of audiences appreciate it when speakers finish their performances on time.

This point might be of the most weight in business-related public speaking. Business audiences know the value of time. Hence, they will expect you to respect both your and their time.

Always keep in mind that going over time with your speech is a big “no.” Practice giving speeches with a timer to learn how to control timing.

10. Learn to Analyze and Leverage Audience Feedback in Real Time

You must understand that public speaking is not a monologue. To be truly effective, it should become a dialogue between you and your listeners, even though you will be the one who is speaking.

What does this mean in practice? Basically, it means that you should never carry on your speech without looking back at your audience. Instead, you need to always keep the focus on your listeners and learn to gauge their reactions.

Stay flexible and be ready to adjust the tone of voice and message of your speech according to the audience’s reaction.

Conclusion

Giving effective and inspiring speeches is a true art. Although some people are naturally good at it, mastering it often takes a lot of time and practice. The good news is that you can hone your public speaking just like any other skill.

After reading this guide, you should have a better idea of why public speaking matters to entrepreneurs and, most importantly, how to get better at it step by step. Follow the advice from this article to set yourself up for success. And when ready, capture every chance to use your honed skill for the sake of the growth of your business!

FAQs
See the most answers to the most frequently asked questions. You can find even more information in the knowledge base.
Knowledge base

Public speaking skills are crucial for business success because they enhance communication, build confidence, make networking easier, improve storytelling abilities, and help in selling yourself and your business effectively.

Public speaking helps in refining communication skills by teaching how to convey messages accurately, build rapport with partners and customers, and foster effective teamwork within the organization, which are essential for entrepreneurial success.

Practical ways to improve public speaking skills include refining writing abilities, understanding and engaging with the audience, practicing body language and voice modulation, adding a personal touch to speeches, incorporating humor, working from an outline, using effective hooks and endings, leveraging audiovisual elements wisely, managing time effectively, and being responsive to audience feedback.

Yes, public speaking skills can significantly benefit networking efforts by making entrepreneurs more comfortable around new people, helping in establishing connections with customers, finding new opportunities for business growth, meeting potential mentors, and negotiating effectively with partners and suppliers.

You can measure your progress in public speaking skills by tracking improvements in communication effectiveness, confidence levels while speaking to different audiences, ability to engage and captivate listeners, success in networking and business interactions, and receiving positive feedback and responses from audiences.

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