by Laura Camacho
Few activities help an entrepreneur get precious visibility more than public speaking. The only thing it costs you is time. Yet who is busier than a woman entrepreneur? How can you leverage that public speaking opportunity when you have so little time to prepare? As someone who’s been helping women become more effective speakers for almost twenty years, there’s one area you can laser focus on to knock the talk out of the ballpark.
As a woman entrepreneur, you are already immersed in the subject matter. If you’re being asked to speak, it’s because you’re knowledgeable on your material. The question is, how can you wow that audience while sharing your message?
Maybe your topic is cyber security or mortgage loans. How can you ignite excitement?
One speaker I heard recently started out brilliantly. To open his talk on relationships to his audience, a group of men in prison, he began, “Since we’re all friends now, I’m going to tell you a secret. And you can share your secret relationship tip as well.” You could hear a pin drop. Trust me, I’m definitely borrowing that opening for my next speaking engagement.
Simple. Surprise and delight your audience.
Don’t think this is too hard. If you start your talk in a surprising way, that will delight the audience. Our brains crave a surprise that will delight us because the vast majority of surprises are not delightful at all….like when your car doesn’t start because Surprise! Your battery is dead.
Look around you for ways to surprise and delight your audience. The only caveat is not to use up too much of your presentation time with S and D (surprise and delight) as you need time to deliver your message and connect with the audience.
Here are some suggestions to catalyze your Surprise and Delight factor: the possibilities are infinite.
Sing a song (or play a musical instrument)
Share a surprising fact about your topic
Wear sequins or something else delightfully surprising
Jump up and down
A presentation is your time to shine on stage. Enjoy being in the spotlight and no matter what, SMILE!
Laura Camacho, MBA, PhD, PMP, is an executive coach, trainer and speaker who opened Mixonian Institute in 2009 to rid the world of boring business communication. She has created innovative training programs for local and international companies, related to leadership effectiveness, excellent feedback, growth mindset and emotional intelligence. Multilingual, Dr. Camacho’s career highlights include facilitating The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (in Spanish,) being editor of the leading management newsletter in Venezuela. For 10 years she taught communication classes at ECU and College of Charleston. www.mixonian.com
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