Executive Speaking Weblog

Communication – the future of business

The 7 commandments of Public Speaking

Posted by Presentation Skills on September 2, 2007

In order to communicate effectively with anyone, there are a number of rules and conventions that should be followed.  Although I generally don’t like to be prescriptive, the points below offer a quick checklist for speakers.

  1. Know your reason for speaking:  Know what message you want to convey during your talk.  This will make preparation much easier;
  2. Know who your audience is, and what they want:  By understanding your audience, you will be able to tailor your message to meet their needs;
  3. Give your audience a reason to listen:  Find out what is important to your audience and use this as part of your presentation.  By knowing this your audience will pay attention to you so you can get your message across.
  4. Only speak to one person: Although this sounds counter intuitive, speaking to one person will bring the audience into what you have to say.  Whilst you see many people that you are speaking too, your audience only sees 1 person speaking to them.  Therefore, from their point of view, you are in a one-to-one speaking situation.  Speak as though you are in a one-to-one situation and the audience will think that you are talking directly to them!
  5. Tell a story and make a point:  People do not want to hear just the facts; they want to now what the facts mean.  So give them the stories behind the facts;
  6. Always leave them wanting more.  Don’t give everything away in your speech.  Always leave them wanting more so they want to follow you up.

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2 Responses to “The 7 commandments of Public Speaking”

  1. Lis said

    There apprear to only be six of the seven commandments of public speaking…

  2. Always leave ’em wanting (one) more…

    So true, it’s better for people to say: “That was great! I wanted more!”, than to go away saying: “Remind me to arrive at half time for the next one…”

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