Using Public Speaking to Increase your PR Network
The first time I was assigned an oral presentation as a college
freshmen, I figured it would be an easy A. But much to my
dismay, as I stood in front of the classroom, my palms became
drenched with sweat and I couldn't remember a word of the
material I had so laboriously researched.
You might be wondering, "So what does this have to do with my PR
campaign?" Surprisingly, it might be more than you think. Let's
say your company had decided to sponsor a charity event, and the
director of the organization asks you to say a few words at the
event. Whether this invitation is spur of the moment or planned,
if you don't have a few good public speaking skills under your
belt, you could end up doing more harm to your company's face
Public speaking is not an easy task, and one that takes a fair
amount of practice and confidence. Many people perceive speakers
that give off a certain air of knowledge to be experts on the
topic being covered. Even if you aren't really an expert, it
doesn't hurt to sound like one, right?
The first thing you should take in account when planning a
speech is who you will be presenting to. Demographics and
psychographics are two things that should be looked at
carefully. Demographics deals with such issues as age, sex,
socio-economic status and education level, while psychographics
leans towards the ideologies and beliefs systems of the
audience. Obviously, presenting to a group of high schoolers
will necessitate a different tone and speech type than would a
presentation to a group of science junkies at a physics
You also need to look at the message that you wish to convey to
your audience. This will lead to figuring out what sort of
speech you need to work on. There are different types of
speeches, including demonstration, informative, or persuasive.
If you expect an audience to listen, you have to give them a
reason. Play off their motivations-- always remember that humans
act and direct their behavior according towards wants and needs.
However, it doesn't matter how much you appeal to someone's
emotions if you have no credibility. Establishing credibility is
important because it builds trust between you and the audience.
Some common ways to portray credibility is by the use of facts,
statistics, narratives, and defining the jargon that your
audience might not be immediately familiar with.
During the deliverance of your speech or presentation, it is key
that you order your points in a way that will make sense to the
audience. Chronological, spatial, and cause and effect ordering
are a few examples of ways that work well.
Along with the points you make in your speech, good visual aids
will oftentimes reinforce the ideas for your audience. An image
or graph makes your key concepts much clearer for the listener.
Finally, speech deliverance is of utmost importance because
let's face it-- no matter how much preparation you put into your
speech, it won't matter much if you forget every word once
you're up there.
The four main delivery formats used in speech making include
impromptu, extemporaneous, manuscript, and memorized. If you've
done all this preparation, chances are you're not giving an
impromptu talk. So let's look at the other three. You already
know what a memorized speech is, and you might have guessed that
a manuscript is one that is simply read allowed verbatim.
Extemporaneous speaking, however, involves very few notes and
memorization. This is sometimes harder than the other forms, but
at the same time usually involves fewer blunders and allows for
more eye contact with the audience.
By the end of my college career, I could stand in front of
fairly large audiences with enough confidence to glide through
my points with ease. Granted, I did stumble across some
unexpected pitfalls every now and again, but the more I spoke
the easier it was to gracefully ease my way out of those hairy
Making pubic presentations and speaking part of your PR campaign
can reinforce your image as a trustworthy and intelligent
person, especially concerning whatever it is you're trying to
sell. Over time, your charisma and demeanor will reflect the
confidence involved in public speaking. Sales will start rolling