Are you preparing for a public speaking engagement at an upcoming business meeting? Want to make sure you’re confident and connecting with your audience? We’ve got 10 public speaking tips you need for your next business meeting.
Compose Yourself First
Never start talking as soon as you are introduced. Take a minute to walk out on stage or prepare your podium. Take a deep breath and smile and wave at your audience before you begin. We know it will seem like an eternity but it will give you confidence. Speaking right away is a sign of nerves and could lead to an awkward moment right off the bat.
The most common mistake speakers make is speaking too fast to get it over with. In fact, when your heart beats faster, your words speed up too. Take a deep breath in between sentences and make a point to talk slowly. Trust us when we tell you the audience won’t know you’re talking slower. They will think you’re taking the time to really speak to them and tell them something important.
Connect With Your Audience
Research shows us that those whom delve into a presentation immediately or begin with a speech that immediately tries to sell an idea or push a PowerPoint causes your audience to disengage. Your audience will connect with you and want to learn from you if you start with a story, tell a joke or say something that’s inspiring before getting into the meat and potatoes of your speech.
Make Eye Contact
Eye contact matters. We know the tried and true method you were told in your college public speaking class was to scan and pan the crown constantly while talking so you don’t get nervous. Trust us when we tell you that your audience knows the difference. In smaller meetings, make a point to make eye contact with each and every audience member so they know you are interested in speaking and connecting with them. In larger meetings, make eye contact with as many people as possible. The audience can feel this connection.
Eye Contact Tip: Give every audience member one sentence before moving on to the next audience member.
As important as eye contact is, it’s also just as import to move on and don’t get rattled when your eye contact reveals a few people in the audience that are bored, not paying attention or shaking their heads. Stay focused on those that are visibly engaged with your message. You can’t win over everyone with one speech. Just ask a school teacher.
Turn Nerves into a Positive
When sports reporters ask athletes after a big game if they were nervous before making the game winning shot or catching the touchdown in overtime, they usually say they were excited and ready to help their team. Let’s be honest though. Those athletes are paid to turn jitters into excitement that leads to a win. Treat your public speaking nerves as excitement too and your attitude on stage will exude confidence instead of hesitation.
Practice Your Speech
We’re not saying you need to have your speech memorized. But you shouldn’t be staring at the podium or cue cards constantly to remember what to say next. Your audience will be more involved if you care enough to be comfortable with your material and be able to walk the floor and connect with them.
Know Your Audience
If you’ve been asked to speak at a business meeting, find out the demographics of those in attendance. For instance, if you’re speaking to a group with an average salary of $30,000 and your speech cites examples that come from extreme wealth, the audience will turn on you and you’ll never rebound.
Dress the Public Speaking Part
It doesn’t matter what type of audience you are speaking to at a business meeting. You should always dress up instead of down. This shows the audience that you care about them enough to look your best.
Always Be Humble
Whether your public speaking engagement resulted in a few claps or a standing ovation, you should always end your speech and presentation with a humble thank you. Those in the audience spent their time to listen to you and thanking them for that time is always the way to sign off. Thank those for your time both at the beginning and at the end of your speech.
Plan Your Next Business Meeting
It’s time to plan your next business meeting at The Roberts Centre.
Your business meeting can be planned and accommodated by The Roberts Centre’s event planning staff. We have more than 80,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, including a conference center space for your business meeting needs. Request a proposal for your next business meeting.
We have a Holiday Inn for lodging purposes and an on-site restaurant and catering. Centrally located between Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus, we have the venue that can make all the difference. Contact us today at (937) 283-3272 to schedule your business meeting and other special events today.Tags: business meeting, public speaking, Roberts Centre, venue