A strong, effective public speaker can mobilize people for a cause and draw attention to an issue. They can raise awareness, sell a product, or enliven an idea. I am a motivational speaker in Las Vegas and around the world, regularly delivering addresses to conventions of hundreds and thousands. When I first began my journey, however, the world of corporate speakers was very different from my own. While I was a performer comfortable on the stage, expressing personal ideas with potential impacts on the future of my son, Christopher, felt like a different type of engagement.
However, the same love and drive that helped me to become successful as a fundraiser and a disability advocate meant that before too long, I was an in-demand public speaker in Las Vegas. Many people are afraid of speaking in public, even when they also have a cause that drives their passion and inflames their soul. I became a successful motivational speaker by developing my skills and letting myself shine through, and I know that you can also do the same. Here are six key characteristics of an effective public speaker:
- Speak About What You Care About
Many public speakers are drawn to take to the stage not merely to speak but to express their passions or bring awareness to a cause. When you talk about the issues that matter to you and that affect your life, your commitment can shine through to your audience as well.
- Be Yourself
You might feel like you need to present a specific personality to be a successful public speaker in Las Vegas. However, the thing that attracts people to you, including your friends and family, is your personality. Be you! And let your character shine through.
- Keep It Simple
On the one hand, you want to speak about the matters that you know best. You’re an expert, and you fill your days with the work that you do. Sometimes, you might find yourself speaking in more complicated jargon than you even realize that you know! For some professional audiences, this can be an important signal of your knowledge. But when speaking to the general public, it’s important to focus on the big ideas and the emotions behind them.
- Practice Can Make Perfect
Experienced motivational speakers may be able to step right up before a crowded hall and deliver an inspiring, empowering message. When you are starting as a public speaker, however, it is essential to practice. This means preparing your presentation, trying the technology in advance, and knowing what you want to say. When you’re well-prepared and practiced, you can keep your mind on engaging with the audience.
- Share Your Stories
The ancient tradition of storytelling and oral history has preserved tales, legends, and histories that would be lost. Facts are important and critical to back up your case. However, what makes people feel engaged with your cause are the stories that you tell. Help people to connect with your message by telling personal stories that illustrate the power of your message.
- Get Ready to Look and Feel Your Best
The heart of any successful speaking engagement is confidence. A confident speaker can sell any message – especially a good one. To boost your confidence, do the things that make you feel great. Choose clothes that help you feel comfortable, professional, or attractive. The confidence you project on the outside can be reflected in your words on the stage.
It can be a challenging path to becoming a proficient public speaker, but work, dedication, and commitment can lead the way to success. Start with these tips to help you show your style on stage.
About Linda Smith
Linda Smith is a fearless and tenacious non-profit fundraiser, author and motivational speaker. She is a survivor of child abuse, a philanthropist who has raised over one billion dollars for charity, and a disability advocate inspired by her son, Christopher, who was born with Down syndrome. Her incredible journey and brave heart will be detailed in her upcoming book, Unwanted.
Contact [email protected] to connect with Linda for information regarding speaking opportunities, disability resources and Las Vegas fundraising efforts.