So I've just come back from a weekend managing a clients two day event that featured eight beautiful speakers, all with such incredible wisdom to share with those in the room. While watching them speak, it got me thinking about a topic that I've mulled over quite a bit while running events – what makes a great speaker. Whether it is someone who has done it a million times before and absolutely love the spotlight, or whether they are new to the scene and get up there with their knees knocking, I know that there are three ‘ingredients’ that make speakers stand out and get noticed.
1. Connection – We want our audience to feel like they are connected to our core message and are willing to take a journey with us.
2. Relatability – We want our audience to know that we have been there and done that, having once stood in their shoes. They know that with this comes a compassionate understanding of what they need. No judgement.
3. Respectability – We want to be in a leadership role where our audience absolutely believes that we speak with authority and from a place of knowledge.
So how can we demonstrate this ourselves at our own events? With three very simple things.
Share your story
Something I know to be true for most audiences is that they love to hear your backstory. Where you came from. How you got there. Any adversity you had to face. It not only helps create connection and relatability, it provides people with context. When people understand where you’ve been and what you’ve done, they feel confident to listen to what you have to say next. Would you take advice from just anyone?
Simplify your message
Holding workshops and presenting isn’t about impressing people by making things seem complicated. It’s about making complicated things seem simple. If you can simplify something that felt really complex before, you’ve just given them the clarity they need to move forward and take action. I have seen moments where people have literally lost their minds because 30 seconds ago, they thought they couldn’t do it. Now, they know they can. These are the lightbulb moments that can change people’s lives and are so intensely powerful.
Provide valuable content with purpose
Have you heard the saying ‘all killer, no filler’? That’s what you are aiming for. When writing out your presentation, ask yourself – Why am I saying this? What is the point of this? How will this impact the person listening? What can they do with this after I've walked off stage? If it doesn’t provide value or doesn’t have a clear purpose, does it really need to be there?
So in a nutshell – Share. Simplify. Be Valuable.
Simple right? But these three things together are such an incredibly potent mix that will have people raving about you. And whether your speaking style is loud and proud, reserved and understated or somewhere in between, people will be hanging off your every word. So go on, inspire them.