How To Be a Great Speaker:
Speak From a Script & Borrow a Story
Part 2 of a 10 Part Series
With a wide range of speaking experiences throughout my professional career, I’m often asked how to become a great speaker. A great speaker is a strong speaker; a strong speaker is someone who can hold the attention of the audience and connect with them, as well.
Over the years, I’ve asked myself how I can improve my speaking skills. Like with anything, practice—and preparation —make perfect. There are a few other things you can do, though, to ensure your success for speaking in public.
I’ve gathered my top 10 easy tips for becoming better at public speaking for this blog series, How To Be a Great Speaker. With each tip, I’ll explore in detail how to become a confident, effective and powerful speaker.
You’re on your way to being a great speaker!
Tip 1: It’s Ok To Use a Script.
Not every public speaking engagement involves something that we personally care about or feel invested in. In these instances, you may need to be more scripted. Be sure to read scripts over countless times so that you familiarize yourself with the concepts well enough that you don’t have to bury your head and read while presenting. This is a surefire way to lose the interest of your au-dience! When you don’t look up or gesture and move and speak freely, your au-dience will become bored and restless. Repeatedly reading or writing the script before your speech will help you to identify with key topics and words to stimu-late your memory.
In situations like this, I highlight key words that I know will trigger my memory. If I begin to feel a little lost during my speech, I look down to my highlighted paper to trigger what I need to go to next. This is a great safety net!
Tip 2: Borrow a Story.
Even though you’re not speaking from the heart this time around, try whatever it takes to get a story to introduce your speech. If you can’t think of a story of your own, ask your friends, co-workers and family members for ideas.
I once spoke at a conference about recruiting talent, but I couldn’t come up with a personal story to introduce the topic. My friend suggested telling a story about the prettiest girl in the bar and how she pulls people towards her. I used this concept to detail the shift in recruiting: In 2016, we need to pull people toward us, not chase them down! The funny thing is, this is the part of the presentation everyone remembered.
Tell a story to introduce your script…even if it’s not your own. Sometimes, the story ends up being the most memorable part of your speech.