I remember the moment I knew that I wanted to be a motivational/inspirational speaker. I was in ninth grade and I went to a student council conference where keynote speakers often shared their unique perspectives and journeys with the audience. I sat there in amazement as keynote speaker, Sam Glenn, led a room of teenagers to laugh, cry and feel moved to make a difference.
Sitting there, I thought to myself, “Wow, I would love to be able to give people this same hope and inspiration to make a difference within themselves and, in turn, the world.”
So I’ve been on that quest ever since. And I have to say, I’ve learned a TON about speaking over the years and I keep refining and re-adjusting what works and what doesn’t.
Here are my top tips to get you speaking like a pro in no time!
1. Less is more.
I know, I know—you want the audience to know all about your entire birth story, how you spilled paint on yourself in second grade, and how you managed to overcome your fear of planes. But, in a concise and clear talk, that is all too much. Give people the big ideas and cliff notes. Leave the details for blog posts, a book or even a video later on.
2. Make it about THEM.
They call it a soap box for a reason. Most people want to share their own life experiences, which is totally cool if you can bring it back to your audience and tie it in. Audience members want to know what’s in it for them and they want to relate and feel inspired by your knowledge. So don’t hog the stage with stories about you. Give a good mix!
3. Use repeatable language.
I will admit that I don’t do this ALL the time, but I’ve found that it is effective. Remember when Taylor Swift launched “Shake It Off” and you couldn’t get it out of your head? Well, you can do that with speaking too. If you want to get a point across, you can make a short and repeatable saying that you use throughout and have the audience repeat it back to you. This is a good way to make a statement and to get them to remember you!
4. Add humor.
You don’t have to look up jokes to add humor. (Trust me, I did that before and it failed miserably. Type in “fruit and vegetable jokes” in Google and you will see why it failed.) Think of the funny times in your life where something happened to you that was rather ridiculous. Play off of real life events. Consider taking a few stand-up or Improv classes to start feeling comfortable with sharing humor in this way.
5. Launch and learn.
I use this method with just about everything that I do. Sometimes, you won’t know if something will work until you try it, especially if it involves an audience of some sort. The audience always wants you to succeed so don’t be afraid to try something to see how it will work out. The more you try and go with something, you will start to see the unique parts of what make you, you! A prime example is my signature food and mood raps. It started as a joke and now, I get requests for it. Don’t believe me? Check it out:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lindsey Smith, known as the Food Mood Girl, is a nationally recognized author, health coach, dynamic speaker, wellness icon, and rapper (you read that right) devoted to helping everyone live a more vibrant life through self-love and guilt-free living. For more information, visit www.FoodMoodGirl.com.