As a marketing expert, you are going to be invited to many industry events and asked to share your expertise with your peers. While this should be considered an honor and something to get excited about, many will shy way from this because they have never spoken on stage. The fact is that many people within the marketing industry lack public speaking experience and loose out on great opportunities to grow their career.

But the truth is, not everyone started off speaking on the stage of TED. Everyone had to start off somewhere and with the right mindset and preparation, you can give a great presentation like some of the best professional marketing conference speakers out there. 

Where To Start?

When given the opportunity to give your first public presentation, often the most common question is “Where do I start?”  When you’ve been giving presentations for awhile, this question might seem common knowledge at this point.  However, if this is your first business presentation or keynote powerpoint, the task of public speaking can seem daunting and overwhelming.

Start with the overall goal.  What do you want your audience to walk away with?  If you’ve been asked to present on a topic of interest, perhaps you want your listeners to leave having learned several key, distinguishing points. For example:

And so on.

The fact is that if you have written a blog post, then you just need to restructure your content for a live presentation.

Speaking At Work

Or, if being asked to give a business presentation in front of co-workers and associates, perhaps you want them to be updated on your marketing objectives or results.  And, if presenting to your boss or an executive, perhaps the goal is a succinct highlighting of a topic such as new marketing tactics or strategies.  

You can imagine, though, how different the content, style, and presentation will look depending on the scenario.  Focusing on what the overall takeaway, based on your audience, will allow you to have a focused goal throughout the preparation process.  If you don’t read any further, you can rest assured that knowing the goal is the first and most important place to start when perfecting the art of public speaking.

Know Your Time Allotted 

Presentations can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours.  Public speaking skills might be the same, no matter how long you’re presenting, but the goal, focus, and talking points change a lot as the amount of time lengthens.  Believe it or not, it can often be harder to speak for a shorter period of time rather than a long period of time.  

The more time you are given to elaborate and support your points, the better presentation you can make.  With that being said, longer presentations require more content and more preparation.  From that point, shorter presentations can be easier.  And, if you have any public speaking anxiety, speaking for a shorter period of the time is always a little easier to stomach.

Learn About Your Audience. 

“A master in art of public speaking knows the ins and outs of his or her audience” says Dan Jones of Motivation Ping. “When you want to persuade and inspire an audience, it’s important to build your presentation towards a specific group of people.”

Is it a presentation to a group of young entrepreneurs or high level executives?  Are they younger or older? Is the crowd fun or serious?  All of these details can become a tool in the way you write and present your public speech.  While it might not change the content you present on, it has everything to do with the way you explain and describe the content.  

The jokes you tell, the examples you use…. these should all be based on your audience.  Another factor to consider is what region of the country or world are you presenting in?  Your first presentation might be in your home region, but if it isn’t, consider that the culture might be different.  The example you give about your favorite sushi restaurant might not apply in a different region. 

Size Of Audience

How many people will you be presenting in front of?  When you are presenting in front of only a few people, the presentation needs to be more personal.  You will need to make a personal connection with every person in your audience.  When you are presenting in front of a large group of people, the presentation doesn’t need to be as personal.  And, as mentioned before, if you have any social anxiety or public speaking anxiety, you will need to learn the number of people that will be attending your public speech.  This will help you prepare for the emotions you’ll be going through.

Last, but certainly not least, plan on over preparing.  Public speaking preparation is one of the keys in the art of public speaking, and you should always plan on over preparing for your  talk.  Those who seem to have a knack for public speaking skills typically do a lot behind the scenes to prepare for their talk.  Don’t rush through the planning stages, the preparation stages, and the execution stages.

It is a daunting task to know where to start when you find out about your first public presentation.  Slow down, take a deep breath, and follow a few of these tips and tricks.  Before you know it, you’ll be ready write your presentation and go up on stage!  Take the time now to properly prepare and you too can master the art of public speaking.