Every day we are tasked with a variety of situations where communication comes into play. How many times have you spoken off-the-cuff and then later wished you’d said something else? Have you ever given a speech and wished you would have put in a little more effort preparing? It’s so important to practice A LOT before the big day.
Here are 13 essential steps to prepare for a speech:
PRIOR TO THE SPEECH
1. Before a speech or important conversation, you must breathe, visualize, stretch and meditate.
2. Repeat to yourself, “I am incredible!”
3. Set the tone for communication. You have only one chance to make a first impression and you have to be ready to succeed BEFORE you make your big entrance.
4. Focus on your objective. What are you going into the room to do?
DURING THE SPEECH
5. Be authentic. Speak from personal experience. It is amazing how much more an audience will listen if they get to know you a bit. The audience wants to see your sincerity and authenticity. Walk in with value and present it. Your confidence will make people buy in. Don’t be phony!
6. Explain the importance of the topic. Tell the audience why they are important to your objective.
7. Remind the audience of the facts on the ground. Present three things to the audience that they didn’t already know. Great facts are persuasive, interesting and exciting to you, simple to understand, measurable, backed up by respected sources and illustrated by visuals. Establish your credibility and enable the person to arrive at a conclusion that supports the objective you desire.
8. Show possibility. Articulate what the audience will gain from going with you.
9. Give an invitation. Invite commitment with a request at the end such as “Are you with me?” or “Do you have any questions for me?” The ending is KEY!! Whatever you do, just don’t say “ok…that’s it…I am done now….”
Another type of speech you’ll need to prepare for at work is a fierce conversation. A fierce conversation is one in which we come out from behind ourselves into the conversation and make it real. This could be with business clients, teammates, friends or family. Here are some tips to make these successful:
10. Be FULLY present.
11. Schedule conversations and honor that schedule! Put away the laptop, cell phone and anything else that could distract you.
12. Be interested, be curious and ask questions.
13. Commit to learning from the other person. The goal of the conversation: Come out of the conversation with a BETTER relationship than you had before.
Now, it is time to go prepare for your speech!