One of the most common questions people ask me is how to be a great speaker. A powerful presentation doesn’t rely on the excellence of your content or structure. If you want to develop great public speaking skills, you need to be able to communicate in an inspiring way. Communication is more than someone talking and someone else listening. The set up mustn’t be completely formal but as if a friend is making conversation with another. It’s about you making a connection with your audience.
How to Be a Great Speaker | Here’s Where You Start!
Speaking With Influence: What Is a Superstar Public Speaker?
1. The Inspired Speaker
Being an Inspired Speaker is your first step to becoming a great speaker. In the public speaking process, you help your audience paint a bigger picture of what their future looks like. Inspiration adds power to your structure. It’s a piece which compels your audience to move and take action. Besides, who likes to listen to a structured talk? It sounds scripted and less empathetic. To be an Inspired Speaker, you need to learn to speak naturally by allowing inspiration to carry your entire presentation and fill the room.
How to Be a Speaker with Influence: Create a Brand Story
When it comes to how to be a great speaker through inspiration, I use a brand story. I use the Structured Speaker later on in my presentations but until the audience becomes inspired and knows the outcome of what you’re teaching, they don’t care about your process.
Your audience cares first about whether you can inspire them to take action. Second, they assess if you’re intelligent and credible enough for them to want to work with you. The purpose of the Brand Story is to inspire people. It highlights the problem and the opportunity in one breath, and it’s not linear. I give the bullet points of the problem and speak from a place of inspiration which moves people.
Granted, making a brand story is one of the skills in public speaking you can practice on your own. How exactly do you do that? To start, get into an inspired place and go. Give yourself permission to jump in and do or say whatever you want. Allow your message to flow through you. You never know what might come out and resonates with people. Be a good motivational speaker.
2. The Structured Speaker
You learn how to be a great public speaker when you’re able to deliver your content and make a sale. This is where being a Structured Speaker in your presentation comes in handy.
You might think, “I don’t know how to create structure in my speech!” Well, you don’t need to be natural about it, but you do have to learn structure to be a pro. After all, people can get pretty confused if your speech lacks organization. It has to follow a path to take your speech from an idea to an actionable piece of content. Otherwise, they won’t understand what you’re talking about and you can lose out on sales but you don’t have to stick to a script either. Rather, use the structure as your guide. Think of a rough draft outline which you fill in as you go. Flexible, but following a specific subject line.
In the end, it’s the structure which makes your abstract concept more understandable. I recommend creating your own signature 7-step Blueprint to deliver your content in a clearly defined framework. There’s also a specific formula to create a compelling structure for your presentations.
3. The Selling Speaker
It’s important to inspire people to take action by selling. You need to show your persona throughout your presentation if you want to be a Selling Speaker. In other words, don’t offer your product or program only when you’re about to make a call to action.
This ties with being an Inspired Speaker. The most effective salespeople are the ones who believe in what they’re selling. They can also connect with their audience. Inspiration makes motivating people to invest in your program more natural and powerful. By being a great public speaker, you need to know what you’re selling and how it can help others.
Here’s the formula for making offers:
1. Know who your ideal customer is and who they want to become.
2. Seed ideas directly and indirectly throughout your talk.
3. Inspire the audience with a vision of what their future can be.
4. Transition into your offer.
5. Detail your program content.
6. Talk about the ROI.
7. Make your offer.
The Selling Speaker inspires people to take action on their vision and their dreams.
4. The Visionary Speaker
The Visionary Speaker is the speaker in you who helps make the vision you’re presenting actionable. You need to activate this speaker throughout your presentation. Think of the process as letting the audience build their future with their ideas. Yet, you’re guiding them on how to actually do it.
To be a great speaker who can create a vision, you need to help your audience break free from their limiting beliefs. Instead, push them to step out of their comfort zones and be comfortable in embracing risk. The Visionary Speaker and the Inspired Speaker help your audience feel free and empowered. The audience will start to believe they can make things happen for themselves.
The thinking mind of the audience will take them to their own challenges and obstacles. If you know your audience well enough, you can speak to them without needing them to speak back.
To learn how to be a great speaker with a vision, you need to address your audience’s specific problems. After all, your audience can’t believe the vision you’re painting for them until you remove their obstacles. Address the challenges to help the audience think about their own vision.
Getting people to invest in their own vision is where the game changes. How do you get people to do that? Tell them your own vision. Also, tell them where you started. Create a rapport with them by letting them know you were once where they are and they can one day be where you are. It’s how people begin to see what’s possible for them and to dream bigger in their lives.
5. The Coaching Speaker
You also need to be a Coaching Speaker during your presentation. This can create the biggest transformation for your audience. When you coach someone and help them work through it, the insights people can have can become amazing. It’s how you gain a loyal customer for life.
When will you know the time to use the Coaching Speaker? You can’t structure this into your presentation at a pre-determined point. Your Inspired Speaker will tell you when it’s time. Public speaking takes time and effort.
One more tip on how to be a great professional speaker? Take the persona of these five versions of your inner speaker and combine them into you. Although they’re different, they’re all related. Each of them must be present in your presentation. Just to give you a guide, remember, the Inspired Speaker is the leader of them all. It must be incorporated into all parts of your presentation to make it successful.
Start public speaking and apply these five versions of how to be a great speaker! Don’t forget to share the outcome with me.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2017 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.