Monthly Archives: November 2013

How to Develop Self-Confidence & Influence People by Public Speaking

How to Develop Self-Confidence & Influence People by Public Speaking, Dale Carnegie, Simon & Schuster, New York, NY, 2011 Edition.

This book was originally written in 1926! It was titled Public Speaking and Influencing Men in Business and, interestingly, was actually Dale Carnegie’s first book. Of course, Carnegie later became best known for his book How to Win Friends and Influence People. But this first book (edited by his wife, Dorothy Carnegie, for today’s audience) is a gem. It contains many wonderful references to the world of business in the mid-1920’s but also excellent tips on how to master the art of public speaking. I loved the chapters on developing courage & confidence; how to improve your memory and tried & true ways to open and close your presentations. Pick it up!

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Key Questions: The Who, What, When & Why of Your Audience

This is a hard lesson to learn. But ask any experienced public speaker and they will tell you a story (or several) of a presentation that flopped because they didn’t know the real needs of the audience or maybe even who the audience was going to be. Sound familiar?

We can’t skip this step ever. Even if the organization asking you to speak is in a hurry and tells you “just talk about anything” don’t do it! You must know who will be listening to you, what their needs are and what they are expecting from you. Here are the classic Who, What, When & Why questions to ask about your audience.

  • Who is the audience? (numbers, professions, age/gender)
  • What outcome does the audience (and the organization) want to walk away with?
  • When is the presentation? (time of day, over a meal, with other speakers, or?)
  • Why is the group meeting? (entertainment, learning, continuing education credit, or?)

Once you know these answers, you can begin designing your presentation with confidence. Need more? Check into my upcoming tele-seminar starting in January. Love to have you!

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