By Dr. Paula Fellingham
What did Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Eleanor Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. all have in common? They could all speak with eloquence and power in front of an audience. They expressed their ideas so that people not only heard and understood, but also acted on their calls to action.
Everyone is a presenter – even as a child – you probably gave some wonderfully creative presentations to parents – to get what you wanted – and perhaps to teachers – to wiggle out of an assignment … we learn how to present when we’re young!
And think about it – later we try to persuade our boss to give us a pay raise … doctors persuade patients, lawyers persuade juries – pastors persuade congregations. As parents, we make presentations almost daily to our children.
But the presentations we’re talking about today are presentations you’ll give in business settings, or as a professional speaker. I’m sure you know that the ability to speak confidently and articulately is one of the most marketable skills we can acquire. Women who can inform, persuade, entertain, motivate, and inspire are in great demand.
Anyone who has the least desire to be a professional speaker I want to enthusiastically encourage … it’s a wonderful profession!
I’ve been flown all over the country and spoken at the United Nations and at conferences all over the world! With someone else paying, I’ve traveled extensively – and been treated like a queen at 5 star hotels… all for giving a 60 to 90 minute speech where I shared what I’m passionate about, touched lives and changed hearts. This is a fabulous way to make money!!
We teach women how to make $5,000 to $25,000 a speech. When you’re making that kind of money, all you need to do is give 1 or 2 presentations a month to enjoy a luxurious lifestyle!
Today I’ll give you some wonderful tips on how to give a great presentation – but it’s such a tiny piece. At our MDW Retreats we help women actually create their presentations and we teach them much more.
Yes, being a presenter is wonderful – an incredible opportunity to share the message of your heart. Carl Winters, second president of the NSA said, “We tip men’s minds out of bed, stab their spirits awake, and set them on the forward march for a better personal, professional, and business life. All who hear us can be sent out a little wiser, walking a little taller, and living and saying it a little better. We have a matchless opportunity to affect the quality of life at this challenging point in time.”
Since we only have a short time to talk about being a speaker, what other women have really appreciated are learning some of the DETAILS of giving a great presentation. They really like learning some of the key strategies used by the experts. So we’ll fly through some of these in just a moment – but first I want to share with you the Top Ten Tips of America’s Best Speakers – contributed by Ty Boyd – Director of the Excellence in Speaking Institute:
- Have “Fire in Your Belly.” Speak with conviction, passion, and energy – with your whole body
- Have Focus. Don’t ramble – don’t wing it – give three solid points with examples and stories
- Good Speakers Perform. Paint pictures for your audience – use visual aids – perform.
- Use Color. Voice color; body color; energy color… use vocal variety; speak in Technicolor
- Learn To Use Your Eyes. Eye-to-eye contact; look at one, linger, then another…
- Use Your Face. SMILE – expressive brows, eyes on fire, like a television set…
- Use the Rest of Your Body Parts, too! Gesture, pause, move deliberately…
- Maintain Physical Balance. Stand tall, walk with purpose, speak with authority
- Involve Your Audience. Know them. Meet their needs. Balance info, entertainment, involvement.
- Practice, Practice, Practice! Don’t wing it…ever. Michael Jordan, Jack Nicklaus, Zig Ziglar.
Great speakers are not born, many of the best professional speakers out there discovered their talent in their later years. You may be one who has the special talents required to become a truly inspirational speaker.
What is the secret to being inspirational? Inspiration reflects overwhelming belief in what you want your audience to hear. And, also, the overwhelming desire on the speaker’s part is for the audience to BENEFIT from your deeply-believed message or information.
Again, I encourage you to consider learning more about becoming an excellent presenter – or a professional speaker.