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7 Public Speaking Tips (If You Don’t Want People to Actually Listen)

7 Public Speaking Tips (If You Don’t Want People to Actually Listen)

At some point in your life, you will be called upon to do public speaking. Whether you are speaking to an audience of three or three-thousand, here are a few key things you can do to equip yourself for success when that time comes. Using these public speaking tools will also decrease your pre-speech nerves significantly!

1. Do Not Stay Hidden Before You Speak

Unless you are Bono, Oprah, or the President, you have no reason to hide before you speak and every reason to mingle, letting people know that you are interesting and personable BEORE you take the stage. Aim to connect with individuals and build a following before you address your audience as a whole.

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2. Do Not Write a Boring Intro and Have a Boring Person Read It

Your audience already has some idea of who you are, so skip the boring LinkedIn bio facts. When deciding what to include, ask yourself why your bio matters to this group of people. Keep it short and sweet, including only the most pertinent information of why they should care about who you are and what you have to say. Be sure the person introducing you has had a coffee, or three.

3. Do Not Slowly Stroll Onto the Stage

Unless you are really, REALLY famous, no one is getting a thrill out of viewing your entry. So, just get there. Fast. As humble as you may actually be, even appearing to take your time to get on stage can come off as self-important. And, if the applause after you’ve been introduced has dwindled or completely stopped before you get to center stage, you (and your entire audience) can practically taste the awkward in the room.

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4. Do Not Start with “Thank you very much. It’s such a pleasure to be here.”

This was an entirely acceptable way to begin public speaking the first ten million times it was done. We are now past that mark and opening with this line is akin to saying: “Thank you for hearing me say something that you are now not listening to at all.” Starting with this line is the best way to make your audience members check their Twitter or Instagram accounts within the first 10 seconds of your speech.

5. Do Not Say, “Good morning!” …Wait for a Response, and Then Say, “Oh, Come On, You Can Do Better Than That!”

You are not your audience’s mom. You are not at summer camp. (And if you are, your audience better be under the age of 12 for this line to work.) This phrase was effective exactly one time and that was in 1964 when Art Linkletter said it. Ever since then, it’s been annoying as heck.

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6. Do Not Show a Text-Heavy PowerPoint Image Right Off the Bat

No one wants to both see AND hear your words. If you are wearing a mic and are on a stage, this is your cue to aim for more words heard than seen. Don’t try to cram a bunch of text onto each slide; instead, choose simple, powerful visuals that complement your verbal message.

7. Do Not Read Your Entire Speech From Your Notes, Verbatim

Public speaking is an art. You need to practice. Take video of yourself practicing, watch it, make note of your mistakes, and then practice some more. Imbed your message into your head and your speaking style into your body so that when you are on stage, you will be freed up to speak more from your heart than your head. Anyone can read a speech out loud—don’t be “anyone;” be someone worthy of the public speaking opportunity you have.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them

How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them

If I was a super hero I’d want my super power to be the ability to motivate everyone around me. Think of how many problems you could solve just by being able to motivate people towards their goals. You wouldn’t be frustrated by lazy co-workers. You wouldn’t be mad at your partner for wasting the weekend in front of the TV. Also, the more people around you are motivated toward their dreams, the more you can capitalize off their successes.

Being able to motivate people is key to your success at work, at home, and in the future because no one can achieve anything alone. We all need the help of others.

So, how to motivate people? Here are 7 ways to motivate others even you can do.

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1. Listen

Most people start out trying to motivate someone by giving them a lengthy speech, but this rarely works because motivation has to start inside others. The best way to motivate others is to start by listening to what they want to do. Find out what the person’s goals and dreams are. If it’s something you want to encourage, then continue through these steps.

2. Ask Open-Ended Questions

Open-ended questions are the best way to figure out what someone’s dreams are. If you can’t think of anything to ask, start with, “What have you always wanted to do?”

“Why do you want to do that?”

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“What makes you so excited about it?”

“How long has that been your dream?”

You need this information the help you with the following steps.

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3. Encourage

This is the most important step, because starting a dream is scary. People are so scared they will fail or look stupid, many never try to reach their goals, so this is where you come in. You must encourage them. Say things like, “I think you will be great at that.” Better yet, say, “I think your skills in X will help you succeed.” For example if you have a friend who wants to own a pet store, say, “You are so great with animals, I think you will be excellent at running a pet store.”

4. Ask About What the First Step Will Be

After you’ve encouraged them, find how they will start. If they don’t know, you can make suggestions, but it’s better to let the person figure out the first step themselves so they can be committed to the process.

5. Dream

This is the most fun step, because you can dream about success. Say things like, “Wouldn’t it be cool if your business took off, and you didn’t have to work at that job you hate?” By allowing others to dream, you solidify the motivation in place and connect their dreams to a future reality.

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6. Ask How You Can Help

Most of the time, others won’t need anything from you, but it’s always good to offer. Just letting the person know you’re there will help motivate them to start. And, who knows, maybe your skills can help.

7. Follow Up

Periodically, over the course of the next year, ask them how their goal is going. This way you can find out what progress has been made. You may need to do the seven steps again, or they may need motivation in another area of their life.

Final Thoughts

By following these seven steps, you’ll be able to encourage the people around you to achieve their dreams and goals. In return, you’ll be more passionate about getting to your goals, you’ll be surrounded by successful people, and others will want to help you reach your dreams …

Oh, and you’ll become a motivational super hero. Time to get a cape!

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Featured photo credit: Thought Catalog via unsplash.com

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