Eight of the best public speaking tips for rising women entrepreneurs
Today’s educated, empowered, and smart females have made their mark in every field, challenging all stereotype beliefs and shattering glass ceilings.
And business is no exception! Undoubtedly, female entrepreneurs are excelling in all aspects of business, be it integrity, innovation, delegation, planning, organization, controlling, and budgeting. However, there is one aspect of leadership that most female business owners feel uncertain about, i.e., public speaking.
Women entrepreneurs must understand that success can’t be achieved merely by unlocking or learning a specific set of essential skills. You will have to go far beyond this to bring home the bacon. By learning the art of public speaking, you can establish yourself as an expert and a credible thought leader, build your brand identity, and connect with potential clients or customers, ultimately driving your business toward growth.
In this article, we have provided a few tips that will help rising women entrepreneurs ace their next public speaking gig. Read on to find out what they are.
1) Define your goals
Why do you want to deliver a speech at the next business conference? The reason could be any of the following:
- To increase your professional network
- To increase brand awareness and recognition
- To convert the target market into loyal customers/clients
- To establish yourself as an expert in the field
- To inspire more females in the industry to embrace entrepreneurship, etc
Defining your goals is important to understand your target audience, create relevant content, and set the stage for the presentation.
2) Understand your audience
Based on your goal, know your target audience. Do research to learn about their interests, demographics, pain points, needs, expectations, etc. Tailor your content and presentation delivery according to the preferences and knowledge level of the audience.
For example, suppose your goal is to inspire more women in the industry to become entrepreneurs. Your target audience will be females possessing good business knowledge and leadership skills. You can do research about what motivates them, the skills gap that must be bridged to embark on an entrepreneurial journey, etc.
3) Weave personal experience into stories
As a female entrepreneur, you might have faced many limitations, ups and downs, and ‘make or break’ moments. Recall all those challenges, memorable moments, and lessons learned and weave them into an engaging story that your target audience would love to listen to.
By sharing your entrepreneurial adventure and unique perspective, you can add a personal touch to your presentations and make them more relatable to the audience.
For example, if you want to inspire young girls to be an entrepreneur, you can take them to an imaginary world through your story where they see things through your lenses and begin to believe that if you can sail against the odds and achieve success, why can’t they?
4) Use engaging visuals
Supplement your talk with high-definition visuals to make it more effective and easy to understand. You can use images, graphics, videos, etc., to reinforce your core message. You can also include pre-designed Google Slides templates in your presentations to engage the audience and help them remember the key takeaways for longer.
For example, suppose you aim to inspire more females to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. In that case, you can complement your story with images of the world’s renowned businesswomen who stood firm against the odds and ascended to fame with their outstanding entrepreneurial skills.
5) Be authentic
Authenticity is one of the key foundational elements of successful public speaking. Being authentic implies being yourself. So, instead of imitating other speaker’s style and trying to portray yourself as someone you are not, follow your instincts and speak from the heart. Your message must be aligned with your values, and your words must be in sync with your gestures and body language.
Remember, the benefits of being an authentic speaker are priceless, but you can’t rehearse authenticity. Therefore, be honest and credible.
6) Seek mentorship from successful women speakers
Meet the successful female speakers in your industry and seek their invaluable advice. You can also attend public speaking events to see live speeches of other speakers and learn from their style and techniques. Alternatively, you can join public speaking groups or hire a coach to hone your speaking skills.
Whatever way you choose, ensure that you don’t compromise your authenticity.
7) Transform your presentation into dialogue
Assume a scenario. You are attending a conference to get new insights into industry trends. The presenter begins his talk with a bang. But after two or three slides, you realize that the speaker is focused only on delivering the speech – no eye contact, no movement on the stage, and no interaction with the audience. Won’t you feel like you have been imprisoned for the next 40-45 minutes?
It can happen with your audience, too, if, as a presenter, you don’t include interactive elements in your presentation. If you want to seek active participation from your audience and keep them hooked, add polls, quizzes, and relevant games. You can also ask a few audience members to come on the stage and share their experiences. Also, dedicate a few minutes to the Q&A session so that the audience can clear their doubts.
8) Practice to boost your self-confidence
Nervousness and excitement are obvious on your big day. You can reduce your nervousness and boost your excitement by rehearsing meticulously beforehand. You can practice in front of family members and friends.
Ask them to provide genuine feedback on your performance. Incorporate this feedback in your next rehearsal, and keep practicing until you nail it. You can also record your rehearsals and self-evaluate your performance to identify areas of improvement.
You can also practice relaxation techniques which you can employ while delivering the presentation on the real stage to manage your nerves.
Public speaking is a game-changer for women business owners
Public speaking is indeed a game-changer and valuable asset for women business owners that empowers them to make a significant difference in how they are perceived by their clients, subordinates, and peers.
Female entrepreneurs possess unique abilities, which, when combined with public speaking skills, enable them to amplify their voices and create their own unique space and meaningful impact across all domains.
The above tips will help you refine your speaking skills and let you shine not only in your office but in your industry, too.