There are basically two types of speakers in the world, the boring and the exciting and nobody wants a boring speaker. Practically nobody listens to the boring speaker so you don’t want that. Now, I do a lot of talking for a lot of different things and through the years I’ve learned what works and what does not.
So what works? What makes one a dynamic speaker?
First, only speak about things that you like. This is very important as it will determine how comfortable you are when you do your talk. Never accept speaking engagements on topics that you don’t like, not even if you’re getting paid a large sum. It only takes one boring talk to tell the world that you’re not someone to listen to.
Second, have some humor. Good humor is a perfect solution to breaking monotony. A couple jokes here and there will keep your audience awake, interested and open-eared to whatever you are talking about. However, do not joke too much. Remember, you’re talking about something and not just trying to be funny.
Third, only talk about things that match your personality. A topic that doesn’t match your personality will just make you feel uncomfortable. I’ve seen a lot of people trying to be funny when they’re not funny at all and that just drives me nuts. Why talk about something that you’re not?
Fourth, interact with your audience. Don’t lecture or make a sermon. Interact with your audience. Ask their names and what on earth do they do for a living. Use them (if they allow you) as examples if possible. But never, never make them do most of the talking.
Fifth, be timely. No matter what topic you are talking about, always try to use relevant and timely examples when you speak. Use current events as examples such as news, television shows, or the current trend in fashion. Always connect your topic with the “NOW”.
Sixth, practice a lot. Rehearse your talk in front of a mirror. Then do it again in front of a close relative. Heck, you can even do it again in front of your dog if you want to. After that, do it all over again until you are comfortable with what you are talking about. A word of caution though, NEVER MEMORIZE WHAT TO SAY. You are not making a speech.
Seventh and the last, be yourself. I have to say that this is the most important secret of a dynamic speaker. Being yourself not only makes everything flow naturally, it also allows you to be creative with what you’re talking about. Don’t try to mimic your favorite speaker, you are who you are and nobody can be you. You may copy a few things from different speakers but you should always be at least 80% you when you speak.
- Only speak about the things that you like
- Have some humor
- Only talk about things that match your personality
- Interact with your audience
- Be timely
- Practice a lot
- Be yourself
Remember these seven easy to remember guidelines and be a dynamic speaker yourself.
I’ve spoken to different groups of people and the best talks I’ve made are the ones that followed these seven guidelines. I’ve done talks to small groups and to groups as large as 500 people and I never failed to “close the sale” so to speak.