Last Monday I competed in the Raw Comedy competition.  A five minute stand up in front of 80 people is not for those with weak sphincter control…. But it was a great learning experience.  Here are five speech tips I learnt that you can apply to your next speech:

1. Get them laughing early
Just like comedy, your speech needs a ‘grab’. Something that gets the audience’s attention and makes them excited about what you are going to talk about. You have 10 seconds to win them over – use it!

2. Delivery does matter
One of the funniest things about Billy Connelly’s act are his gestures and facial expressions. Your non-verbal communication can increase engagement and enhance your credibility. Essentially; your delivery can make you more persuasive.

3. Have a plan
Ask yourself “What is it that I want my audience to do, say think or feel?”
Then ask “What are my audience’s expectations?”
Have a strategy for how you are going to meet your objective as well as satisfy the audiences needs. Then…. PRACTICE

4. It’s easier when you’re up there
‘Fake it till you make it’ Don’t let your negative self talk overwhelm you. Reassure yourself that “Yes – you are good enough!” and get on with it.

5. Stick to the time limit
Focus on your best material… it is better to leave them wanting more than to leave them looking at their watch!

For me the stand up experience was all about pushing myself beyond my comfort barriers… as Colin Powell once said “You never know what you can get away with till you try”. 90% of success is having a bash.

Sharon Ferrier
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All Good Presentations Start With a Confident Speaker

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