Knock Out Speaking Tips!

Critiquing my 12-year old daughter’s “warm up” presentation last week as she prepared for her assignment in class (so much fun!) reminded me of some important speaking tips!

dad and daughter knockout speaking tipsGo Julia!

As an aside, this was very emotional for me. I have a track record of almost 20 years of helping financial advisors (and their managers!) with their presentation skills. In addition, I’ve been helping students in my public speaking classes at Rutgers University for almost as long.

It was very moving for me to be in a position to help my own daughter become more confident, more focused, more polished, and more engaging with how she expressed herself.

Man, this is the good stuff. Maybe the best stuff.

“Daddy, you’re crying!”

Hey, even the toughest boxers get emotional. At least, that’s what I’m told.

Anyway, I digress.

Here are some Knock Out Speaking Tips that might serve as an emotional reminder:

  • Start with your best stuff. Not an intro! More powerful to open a talk with a story, powerful point, quote, or meaningful statistic. Grab your audience’s attention right away!
  • Share information in a conversational way. Be natural! Don’t necessarily “present” with rehearsed and acted out facial expressions, gestures, and energy. Be dynamic and crisp but be your natural self. (It’s only natural.)
  • Close your talk with your best (or second best) stuff. A story, a “what this means to you is…”, an experience to apply the theme of your talk, a call to action, or important takeaways.
  • Don’t ever start your talk or main points with the word “So.” “So I was walking down the street when suddenly…” Simply drop the “so”. “I was walking down the street…” Much more impactful! You almost never need the word “so”. So, drop it! (See what I did there?) Especially if you’re a millennial, centennial, (as in you’re very young!), or whatever. Just get right into your discussion and make your point!

Have I made my point?

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