Thursday, June 23 2022
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  • As part of our new Passion Pioneers campaign with GoDaddy, expert coach Shola Kaye reveals how to speak in public and present like a pro…

    Public speaking is an important part of any job, and from team meetings and presentations to TED talks, everyone will experience it at some point in their career.

    For entrepreneurs, it’s the investment case – a crucial hurdle in securing funding and a notoriously difficult balance to strike.

    You want to pique the interest of potential investors, while providing a concise outline of your business plan – all while appearing confident, professional and personable.

    How is it possible? Well, according to communication specialist, author and award-winning speaker Shola Kaye, there are a few tips that can help.

    In addition to creating your business plan – you’re on your own for this one – it’s all about trust and delivery, making the investors you refer feel comfortable and relaxed in your presence.

    It’s something Shola Kaye specializes in, changing careers as a management consultant after experiencing a crippling fear of speaking in meetings herself. She is now a speaker, coach and author of How to be a DIVA at public speaking, working with clients and companies to help women create speeches that are confident, exciting and stand out.

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    On our new Passion Pioneers channel, you’ll find expert advice and inspiration for every stage of your career, providing you with everything you need to know, from practical advice to inspiring profiles.

    As part of our Passion Pioneers campaign with GoDaddy, here are Shola’s top public speaking tips to help you build confidence and attract those investors.

    Here are Shola Kaye’s 6 simple steps to public speaking like a pro…

    1. Write your main themes or points on a small note card and keep it handy during your presentation

    Even the best speakers and performers in the world sometimes forget their lines. As you rehearse for the last few days before your speech, use these bullet points as prompts. During your presentation, keep them handy in your jacket pocket or on a side table. If you need to use them, calmly take them out, find your place, and move on. Don’t apologize or treat this as some kind of weakness you need to get back to your notecard. Your audience won’t blink.

    2. Create a written checklist of things that could derail your public speaking and manage the risk

    When you arrive, make sure your slide presentation is working (if you have one). In the event of a technical problem, do you have additional documents to print? Can you tell longer stories or share case studies to keep the audience interested? It’s not pessimistic about trying to predict problems before they happen – it’s about being well prepared for public speaking.

    3. Make a list of stimulating questions and whenever you start to doubt yourself, read them!

    Most of us have a tendency to doubt ourselves at important times. When you walk onto this stage or the front of the room, you should project an air of unwavering positivity and competence. Ask yourself:

    • ‘Which parts will the public like the most?’
    • ‘Why is this conference exciting/inspiring/fascinating?
    • ‘How will this information help my audience?’
    • ‘How am I going to feel after this presentation has gone really well?

    4. Think about your stature – stand up straight and let yourself breathe

    It’s an old trick of the world of acting and performance. Wherever you are right now, sit down or stand up straight. Imagine a silver thread extending from the crown of your head helping to keep your neck and back comfortably extended. At this point, you are sitting or standing with good posture, but there is probably tension in your body. The next step is to let yourself breathe. Keep the posture tall and proud, but breathe comfortably. You should feel good! This is the stature you need to maintain when speaking in public, whether in front of CEOs or small children. Your stature has everything to do with your value as a human being and nothing to do with the status of those you talk to, so stand tall, be confident and breathe.

    5. Talk to the audience before going on stage when speaking in public

    If you can, sit down with the audience and make connections before it’s time to speak. It shows you that the audience is human. They are individuals with different personalities, expectations and opinions. They want to learn from you or be informed by you and, above all, they want you to succeed. You can even pretend the audience is filled with friends and family!

    6. Take your time and remember that your value as a person has NOTHING to do with your performance

    We tend to associate our self-esteem with our performance in various tasks. It can crush us before we even have a chance to speak. This can lead to shaking, emptiness, and forgetting to breathe.

    A solution?

    Maybe it sounds a little corny, but before you throw or go on stage, slowly and calmly repeat to yourself, “I am loved. I am loved’. Everyone wants to be liked and accepted. This stems from our caveman’s fear of being kicked out of the community. These days there are no stray wild animals that will eat us and most of us have access to food and shelter, but these fears remain. A simple statement like “I’m accepted” can calm our monkey minds and help us focus our resources on a great presentation.

    Visit our Passion Pioneers channel for more autonomy.


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