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Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Tips for Mastering Public Speaking

Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Tips for Mastering Public Speaking

Ask The Entrepreneurs is a regular series where members of the Young Entrepreneur Council are asked a single question that aims to help Lifehack readers level up their own lives, whether in a area of management, communication, business or life in general.

Here’s the question posed in this edition of Ask The Entrepreneurs:

Other than “practice makes perfect,” what’s one tip you have for fellow entrepreneurs about to speak in front of a big crowd?

1. Put Purpose at the Forefront

Brett Farmiloe

    Start with why you’re there (i.e., what’s the purpose of your talk?). End with your purpose, and use everything in between the bookends of your talk to support your purpose. When purpose is at the forefront of a talk, the audience acts.

    Brett Farmiloe, Internet Marketing Agency

    2. Understand Your Audience

    Dan Price

      Understand your audience: who they are, what they care about, what they want to hear and where they’re coming from. Don’t think about what you want to share. Instead, focus on how they are looking to grow and what experience you can share that will help them get what they want out of it.

      Dan Price, Gravity Payments

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      3. Tell Stories

      allie siarto

        Stories will always connect with an audience on a much deeper level than facts. Even if you’re presenting on something technical or instructional, try to weave personal stories into your entire speech to relate back to the audience and keep them engaged.

        Allie Siarto, Loudpixel

        4. Know Yourself

        Suzanne Smith

          Figure out what drives you best during these speeches. For me, it is the energy of the audience, so I spend the first 10 minutes talking to people and introducing myself to develop an instant rapport once I start speaking. I use their names and talk to their interests, which always helps me tailor the message and maintain their interest.

          Suzanne Smith, Social Impact Architects

          5. Embrace the Nerves

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          James Simpson

            Always keep in mind that even the most accomplished speakers get nervous leading up to public speaking. It is completely natural. The nerves are actually a good thing and can be used to your advantage if channeled correctly. Those nerves get adrenaline pumping through your veins similar to what a professional athlete might experience. Use this to your advantage to deliver a knockout speech.

            James Simpson, GoldFire Studios

            6. Know Your Content

            Patrick Conley

              There’s a big difference between relying on a slide deck for the content of your talk and just keeping to a rough outline. If you know your content so well that you can have a no-stress casual conversation off-stage about it all day long, you’ll be much more comfortable on stage. Giving a speech where you need to constantly read off cheat cards is a recipe for disaster.

              Patrick Conley, Automation Heroes

              7. Use a Personal Mantra

              Matt ehrlichman

                “Smile, breathe, and go slowly.” That’s what I repeat to myself every time I’m about to speak in front of a large crowd. No matter how many times I do it, big crowds still get my adrenaline pumping, and sometimes I speak too quickly as a result. Having a mantra helps ground me and remind me to chill out and be myself. I find this works great for job interviews and investor pitches as well.

                Matt Ehrlichman, Porch

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                8. Be Human

                Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer

                  Approach the crowd like you’re having a conversation with a friend. Assume everyone there likes you, wants to hear what you have to say and wants to grab a beer with you afterwards. Talk like a human, act like a human, and own it.

                  Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer, AirPR

                  9. Breathe

                  Derek Flanzraich

                    Nothing can be more powerful than acknowledging, embracing and taking charge of your breath before speaking in front of a large audience. Breathe in to the big moments, and breathe out to pause between them.

                    Derek Flanzraich, Greatist

                    10. Speak From the Heart

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                    Andy Karuza

                      The only thing worse than not being prepared is preparing too much. If you’re going to speak in front of an audience, it should come naturally. It should be prepared in advance, but not recited. If you plan your speech verbatim, you run the risk of losing the beat and getting lost when you stumble. However, if you focus on fewer high-level points, you can speak intuitively around those.

                      Andy Karuza, Brandbuddee

                      11. Believe You’re the Expert

                      Logan Lenz

                        I often perform best when I convince myself that everyone in the room wants to hear what I have to say. If you are positioned as an expert and attendees are in need of your knowledge, speaking confidently will come much more easily. Besides, speaking with confidence will ensure that the audience trusts that you know your stuff.

                        Logan Lenz, Endagon

                        12. Work on the Climax

                        Derek Capo

                          When you speak, it is important to construct the speech like a movie. Your audience needs to be able to be attentive from the very beginning. If not, you will lose them for the rest of the speech. Once you have your hook, you need to lead them to the climax of the story or what you are tying communicate. Make the people feel that they were part of the story and get emotionally tied to it.

                          Derek Capo, Next Step China

                          More by this author

                          9 No-Brainer Ways to Track Employee Time Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Things Entrepreneurs Should Stop Doing Ask the Entrepreneurs: 9 Best Note Taking Tools Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Tips for Mastering Public Speaking Ask the Entrepreneurs: 9 Tasks You Should be Outsourcing

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                          Last Updated on October 18, 2018

                          50+ Best Motivational Quotes To Prepare You For Any Challenges In Life

                          50+ Best Motivational Quotes To Prepare You For Any Challenges In Life

                          Life is filled with highs and lows —happiness and struggles that will test your resilience and integrity, push you to overcome challenges and leave you with lessons that will make you even stronger on your way up.

                          It’s the way you feel and think about yourself, including your expectations and beliefs about what is possible to you, greatly determines everything that happens to you.

                          It all starts with your thoughts. When you change your thoughts, you transform the quality of your life. (Right, Nancy’s story is a typical example!)

                          Below is a list of the best motivational quotes to inspire you to start your day with a blast:

                          Quotes for self-assurance

                          1. Don’t downgrade your dream just to fit your reality, upgrade your conviction to match your destiny.

                            2. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.

                              3. You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.

                                4. The man who has confidence in himself gains the confidence of others

                                  5. You attract what you are, not what you want. If you want great, then be great.

                                    6. It’s not who you are that holds you behind, it’s who you think your are not.

                                      Quotes about positivity

                                      7. Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and think of what could go right.

                                        8. You should never regret anything in life. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it is experience.

                                          9. Falling down is an accident, staying down is a choice.

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                                            10. If you have the power to make someone happy, do it. The world needs more of that.

                                              11. Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.

                                                12. Don’t be afraid to give up the good and go for great.

                                                  13. Remember that life’s greatest lessons are usually learned from worst times and from the worst mistakes.

                                                    Quotes for work and success

                                                    14. Don’t talk, just act. Don’t say, just show. Don’t promise, just prove.

                                                      15. Never stop doing great just because someone doesn’t give you credit.

                                                        16. Discipline is doing what needs to be done, even if you don’t want to.

                                                          17. Work while they sleep. Learn while they party. Save while they spend. Live like they dream.

                                                            18. The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire, not things we fear.

                                                              19. Never apologize for having high standards, people who really want to be in your life will rise to meet them.

                                                                20. If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.

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                                                                  21. Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it, time will pass anyway.

                                                                    22. Don’t fear failure. Fear being in the exact same place next year as you are today.

                                                                      23. A hill is just another opportunity to leave your competition behind.

                                                                        24. Don’t quit. You’re already in pain. You’re already hurt. Get a reward from it.

                                                                          25. Hustle until you no longer need to introduce yourself.

                                                                            26. You didn’t come this far only to come this far.

                                                                              27. Be selective in your battles for sometimes peace is better than being right.

                                                                                28 If we keep doing what we are doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’re getting.

                                                                                  29. You will never know your limits until you push yourself to them.

                                                                                    30. Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.

                                                                                      31. The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.

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                                                                                        32. If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough.

                                                                                          33. If you can’t handle stress, you won’t manage success.

                                                                                            34. Don’t be pushed by your problems, be led by your dreams.

                                                                                              35. Don’t mistake silence for weakness. Smart people don’t plan big moves out loud.

                                                                                                36. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

                                                                                                  37. Obsessed is the word the lazy use to describe dedicated.

                                                                                                    38. You become who you spend your time with.

                                                                                                      39. Be stubborn about your goals and flexible about your methods.

                                                                                                        40. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.

                                                                                                          41. If you don’t build your dreams, someone else will hire you to build theirs.

                                                                                                            42. Between stimulus and response is our greatest power –the freedom to choose.

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                                                                                                              43. What comes easy won’t last, what lasts won’t come easy.

                                                                                                                44. Don’t limit your challenges, challenge your limits.

                                                                                                                  45. Work until your idols become your rivals.

                                                                                                                    Quotes about money

                                                                                                                    46. Formal education will make you a living. Self-education will make you a fortune.

                                                                                                                      47. I create new enemies every day, it’s called business.

                                                                                                                        48. When you have a Million Dollar vision, don’t surround yourself with 1 cent minds.

                                                                                                                          49. You can’t get rich thinking poor.

                                                                                                                            50. Doing what is comfortable is rarely profitable.

                                                                                                                              51. If you can count your money, work harder.

                                                                                                                                If you find yourself feeling lost and frustrated, it’s never too late to change things up. Check out this guide:

                                                                                                                                How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

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