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12 Best Practices For Speaking In Front Of A Big Crowd

Other than “practice makes perfect,” what’s one tip you have for fellow entrepreneurs about to speak in front of a large crowd?




1. Put Purpose at the ForefrontBrett-Farmiloe

“Start with why you’re there (i.e., identifying the purpose of your talk). End with your purpose, and use everything in between as the bookends of your talk to support your purpose. When purpose is at the forefront of a talk, the audience acts. ”



2. Understand Your AudienceDAN PRICE

“Understand your audience: who they are, what they care about, what they want to hear and where they’re coming from. Don’t think about what you want to share. Instead, focus on how they are looking to grow and what experience you can share that will help them get what they want out of it.”

– DAN PRICEGravity Payments


3. Tell StoriesALLIE SIARTO

“Stories will always connect with an audience on a much deeper level than facts. Even if you’re presenting on something technical or instructional, try to weave personal stories into your entire speech to relate back to the audience and keep them engaged.”



4. Know YourselfSUZANNE SMITH

“Figure out what drives you best during these speeches. For me, it is the energy of the audience, so I spend the first 10 minutes talking to people and introducing myself to develop an instant rapport once I start speaking. I use their names and talk to their interests, which always helps me tailor the message and maintain their interest.”

– SUZANNE SMITHSocial Impact Architects


5. Embrace the NervesJAMES SIMPSON

“Always keep in mind that even the most accomplished speakers get nervous leading up to public speaking. It is completely natural. The nerves are actually a good thing and can be used to your advantage if channeled correctly. Those nerves get adrenaline pumping through your veins — similar to what a professional athlete might experience. Use this to your advantage to deliver a knockout speech.”

– JAMES SIMPSONGoldFire Studios


6. Know Your ContentPATRICK CONLEY

“There’s a big difference between relying on a slide deck for the content of your talk and just keeping to a rough outline. If you know your content so well that you can have a no-stress casual conversation off-stage about it all day long, you’ll be much more comfortable on stage. Giving a speech where you need to constantly read off cheat cards is a recipe for disaster.”

PATRICK CONLEYAutomation Heroes


7. Use a Personal MantraMATT EHRLICHMAN

“”Smile, breathe and go slowly.” That’s what I repeat to myself every time I’m about to speak in front of a large crowd. No matter how many times I do it, big crowds still get my adrenaline pumping, and sometimes I speak too quickly as a result. Having a mantra helps ground me and remind me to chill out and be myself. I find this works great for job interviews and investor pitches as well.”



8. Be HumanSharam Fouladgar-Mercer

“Approach the crowd like you’re having a conversation with a friend. Assume everyone there likes you, wants to hear what you have to say and wants to grab a beer with you afterwards. Talk like a human, act like a human, and own it.”



9. BreatheDEREK FLANZRAICH, Greatist

“Nothing can be more powerful than acknowledging, embracing and taking charge of your breath before speaking in front of a large audience. Breathe in to the big moments, and breathe out to pause between them.”



10. Speak From the HeartANDY KARUZA, Brandbuddee

“The only thing worse than not being prepared is preparing too much. If you’re going to speak in front of an audience, it should come naturally. It should be prepared in advance, but not recited. If you plan your speech verbatim, you run the risk of losing the beat and getting lost when you stumble. However, if you focus on fewer high-level points, you can speak intuitively around those.”



11. Believe You’re the ExpertLogan-Lenz

“I often perform best when I convince myself that everyone in the room wants to hear what I have to say. If you are positioned as an expert and attendees are in need of your knowledge, speaking confidently will come much more easily. Besides, speaking with confidence will ensure that the audience trusts that you know your stuff.”


12. Work on the ClimaxDEREK CAPO

“When you speak, it is important to construct the speech like a movie. Your audience needs to be attentive from the very beginning. If not, you will lose them for the rest of the speech. Once you have your hook, you need to lead them to the climax of the story or what you are tying communicate. Make the people feel that they were a part of the story and get emotionally tied to it.”

– DEREK CAPONext Step China


Originally published by StartupCollective


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Author : Young Entrepreneur Council

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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