1. Never tell jokes. Jokes ridicule people and always alienate someone.
2. Tell self-deprecating funny stories. We trust people who have imperfect lives - like us. But don't reveal all your faults at once - they might brand you a real loser.
3. Dress a little better than your audience so they see you as the expert but not too removed.
4. Look them in the eye. We trust you if you look at us. Don't stare at that proverbial spot on the back wall. Look at and talk to each person in the audience - one at a time.
5. Smile. They will naturally smile back at you. If you think your audience looks miserable - remember they are a mirror of the speaker.
6. Tell stories - don't lecture. Kids plead with their parents, 'Tell us a story.' They never say, 'Give us a lecture.' Why do you think we hate lectures - and why I slept through so many at university?
7. Speak the language of the audience. With engineers - talk slide rules, structural forces and tolerances. Whisper the word RAM to computer nerds and watch their eyes light up. When speaking to associations learn if they are called clients, members, associates, delegates or true believers.
8. Help them laugh. Every one loves to laugh. Remember the scene in Mary Poppins with the staid bankers. The old geezer died laughing. Don't kill them, but inject some humour.
9. Talk about things they can relate to. Sales people relate to cold calls, warehousers to stock-outs, bureaucrats to policy formation, and entrepreneurs to cash flow. Remember that everyone relates to family.
10. Be yourself. Be comfortable. Prepare; but don't worry, it's okay to make mistakes. If you are plastic and too polished they won't believe you.
© George Torok is licensed to present Power Presentations™ by Peter Urs Bender, author of the best seller 'Secrets of Power Presentations'. Torok is co-author of 'Secrets of Power Marketing' and host of the radio show Business in Motion. He delivers seminars across North America on thinking and communication skills. He can be reached at (905) 335-1997 or Coach@Torok.com For more tips visit www.Torok.com and www.SpeechCoachforExecutives.com
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