5 Audience Approved and Participant Friendly Tips for Public Speaking

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5 Audience Approved and Participant Friendly Tips for Public Speaking


I started speaking in public just last November.  Prior to that I was used to cozy, individual,one on one consultations with clients. What I have learned along the way is that the same give and take benefits that I've had through individual consultations I am also getting through presentations to rooms of 50-250 people.

I wanted to pause a moment to reflect and share on this topic of give and take because something resonated Speak with Don't Preach towith me yesterday.  I was invited to be one of two speakers at the WCR Madison Metro Chapter to discuss blogging.  The presentation was short, 25 minutes including questions, so I wanted to make sure I highlighted the benefits of blogging as well as some of the distractions and fear busters. 

A few of the real estate professionals in the room who approached me after this session thanked me for breaking things down in common speak not tech speak and now wanted to begin blogging.  I was really warmed because that kind of specific feedback let me know I hit my goal. 

I am sharing this because I've been doing some thinking about public speaking, both from my own speaking experiences, as well as attending speaker sessions.  I have been thinking about some things that I believe make the experience of public speaking a better win/win situation for both parties.  I think most of these are basic but they are the little details that get overlooked with even the most experience and sought after speakers.




1Know and Help Communicate the Mission

Before you agree to participate in a speaking engagement get details...down to the micro level from the organizer about the goals they are trying to reach with your speaking session.  Make sure that the organization/the company will be clearly communicating the goals of the session to the participants in their communications when they announce the event to prospective participants.  Offer to help prepare copy for the session announcement so you can partner with the organization/company to communicate the mission. Clearly stating the goals prior to the event will lead to realistic expectations of the participants.


2.  Consider Your Knowledge, Your Practical Experience, AND your Audience

Before you sign-up to be a speaker at an event, consider your knowlege, your practical experience, and your audience before you agree to a speaking engagement.  The first two seem to be no brainers, but the third is a critical yet often overlooked factor.  Let's face it, some speakers don't have the patience to sit in a room full of beginners and teach a 101 Topic.  Their frustation with the audience will be transparent in the way they glaze over participant's questions or rush through concepts to get to the how to's or the "more interesting" material.

3.  Survey Your Audience Before the Engagement

When you contract or agree to participate in a speaking engagement try get information about your demographics and the level of experience the participants have on the topic you will be presenting.  If the organization or the company you are presenting to does not have this information ask if you can prepare a survey to be distributed to participants to complete and return well in advance of the event. 

This will allow you to prepare your material FOR your audience.

Listen to your audience

4.  Set the Expectations from the Get Go

Before you start up your slideshow, take a few moments to engage your audience.  An introduction is customary and necessary but go beyond your bio and experience.  Let the participants know what they should expect to LEARN FROM YOU in the session. 

Communicating your expectations will help the participants know if they are understanding the concepts or if they need more information from you.


5.  Encourage Discussion from Participants

Don't give up when participants do not speak up immediately and automatically when you ask, "Does anyone have any questions?".  Read their body language and their faces.  If they seem quizzical, if there is a glaze over the eyes, of if you have just discussed a rather complex concept probe your participants.  Ask your participants questions, offer suggestions or even real life examples of your hang-ups when you first learned the material.  Continue to probe the audience and pause and encourage questioning throughout your presentation. 

Set aside your agenda and your powerpoint because at the end of the day what matters is that your audience is getting what you have to say.


Have you done any public speaking?  Please open up your speaker's toolbox and share your tips by commenting below.  Your feedback is appreciated.

Have you attended public speaking engagements? What impressed you the most?  What did you feel was lacking and could've been better? 

Please open up and share your view by commenting below.  Your feedback is appreciated.

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Real Estate Associations, Brokerages, and Franchises:  If you are  seeking Blogging and Social Networking workshops and seminars for your members contact Rebecca D. Levinson, dba Real Skillz, Real Estate Marketing Consultant.  Phone #262-203-5231 or email rebecca@realestateskillz.com


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Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

Rebecca, I have done some public speaking but it has been awhile.  In the future I have been asked to talk about blogging to a women's group I belong to.  I love your suggestions. I guess I need to get some hints from you on talking about blogging.

Aug 20, 2009 03:13 PM #1
Allison Stewart
St.Cloud Homes - Saint Cloud, FL
St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904

Use humor- an opening anecdote sets a more relaxed and therefore more receptive mood to your purpose for being there.  If attendee feel you are talking at them- they generally will not tune in as well  to your message.

Good Luck! 

Aug 20, 2009 10:56 PM #2
Rebecca Levinson, Real Estate Marketing and Online Advertising Consultant
Real Skillz-Clear Marketing for Your Real Estate Vision - Lake Geneva, WI

Marchel- Let me know:)  I think you will be a great speaker on this topic.

Forida Pines Realty- I so agree with the humor aspecy, it really does help to relax everyone.

Aug 21, 2009 05:21 AM #3
Monica Bourgeau
Portland, OR
Business Coaching

Rebecca - thanks for sharing the great tips. I've been doing more public speaking lately and have never considered it my strength so I'm always looking to learn more and improve that skill.

Aug 22, 2009 02:54 AM #4
Rebecca Levinson, Real Estate Marketing and Online Advertising Consultant
Real Skillz-Clear Marketing for Your Real Estate Vision - Lake Geneva, WI


I have seen your groups posted on Facebook.  Good for you.

Aug 25, 2009 05:09 AM #5
Ingrid Laine
Sun West Mortgage Company, Inc. - Virginia Beach, VA
Loan Officer

This was a helpful blog... Thanks. I have a presentation to a group tomorrow. I will keep these tips in mind. -Ingrid

Mar 17, 2010 05:11 PM #6
Rebecca Levinson, Real Estate Marketing and Online Advertising Consultant
Real Skillz-Clear Marketing for Your Real Estate Vision - Lake Geneva, WI

Ingrid- Hope your presentation went well.

May 16, 2010 05:28 AM #7
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