Preparing for a Business Speech
Making a speech in from of customers and prospects or potential customers and prospects can be a great opportunity. It is seldom that you will have the attention of such a large audience. Delivering the right speech in the right way can be a very effective way to grow your business. Like many other things, it takes some planning and some effort.
Know Your Audience
Tailor Your Presentation
Don't be afraid to use notes. Even the President uses notes when he delivers his State of the Union speech. You may want to just have bullet notes instead of having your speech completely written out in your notes. This will probably make the speech delivery more natural. If giving speeches is new to you, you may want to consider having your first couple of sentences completely written out and then only bullets. That way, you are sure of starting the speech the way you want.
Use Visuals and Handouts
Be sure any visuals you use clearly demonstrate your point. For example, if you are talking about trends, a colorful graph will probably make a more lasting impression than just reporting the numbers. If you are using text images, keep them readable. A few bullet points on the screen are probably more effective than a full screen of text.
It is also good to have some handouts for the audience. Copies of your slide presentation with room for notes encourage the listener to follow along and reflect on how your topic may affect them. Make sure to include your name and contact information on any handouts.
Be Comfortable Making the Presentation
Make eye contact with the audience when you are making the presentation and don't avoid questions. If fact you may want to ask a question at the beginning of your presentation to involve your audience and get a better understanding of their interests. Ask for a show of hands on some question.
Two Final Thoughts