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5 Crucial Non-Speaking Skills for the Professional Speaker

Professional Speakers!

Here are 5 skills that have nothing to do with your speech and everything to do with your reputation

1. Arrive Early

Arrive at the event 10 minutes before you’re expected and at least 30 minutes before the speech. There’s nothing more stressful for an event planner than wondering where you are. Get there before they start looking for you.

2. Start on Time

Be ready to start when it’s time to start. Events frequently run behind schedule. That should NEVER be because of you. If there is a delay you can start with a smile any time they introduce you.

3. Bring a Printed Introduction

The host will visibly relax when you hand them a printed copy of your 30 second introduction. Keep it to 30 seconds: one or two credentials, an example of how you help people, and why you are excited to be sharing your message. End it with “Please help me welcome Mr. Professional Speaker.” It’s easier to smile when you walk on stage to a round of applause.

4. Finish Early

Finish your speech (including Q&A) five minutes before the scheduled end. It’s devastating to your professional reputation if an event organizer is frantically waving their arms to catch your attention because you ran out of time. Develop a 20 minute, 40 minute, and 90 minute version of your presentation so you can deliver your message regardless of the event format.

5. Give Something Away

Raffle off a book or a CD or coaching session and give one to your host. People love gifts.

What’s your best non-speaking tip for professional speakers?

4 comments on “5 Crucial Non-Speaking Skills for the Professional Speaker

  1. Given the amount of information – including free Webinars on the Internet – the only reason why people still come for your presentation is to experience YOU.

    So, in addition to your list above, I’d say:

    1) Be yourself. Take a stand. Present your personal opinion and take on the topic – and be prepared to defend it, if challenged.

    2) Try and intersperse your presentation with some humor. This can be by way of an appropriate and/or relevant cartoon/s in your presentation. God knows – we all can use a laugh in these grim times. Makes you memorable.

    3) One of the best ways to ensure engagement is to distribute a mind-map of your presentation – with your contact details in it. They will understand the outline of your presentation, make notes on it and keep it in their notebook.

    1. Shyam,

      Great ideas. I always believe in putting personality into your presentations (whether webinar or not). I really like the idea of a mindmap. It’s a different (and probably more useful) handout than the usual slide printout.

    1. Thanks Simon! That’s a great additional tip. I always carry an extension cord / power strip because I’ve been stuck without a plug too many times. What do other people always carry to their speaking engagements?

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