If so, there a so many things you need to know before you step on the stage. Here are just 3 of my Top 10 Tips:
1. What type of Speaker are you: INSPIRING/MOTIVATING/ENTERTAINING/ INFORMATIONAL? You may think this is a simple question. “I’m an empowering speaker helping entrepreneurs have total work/life balance” (INSPIRATIONAL) Well let me tell you there are a lot of those speakers out there. What makes YOU different from the rest? What are you going to impart to the audience. Will they have tools to use after they have heard from you (INFORMATIONAL)? Are you there to make the audience have some fun (ENTERTAINING)? Know your niche and your messaging and make sure it is clear when you walk on-stage.
2. Know what you can do on-stage! Are you just inspiring the audience, or are you able to “sell from stage.” NEVER sell from the stage if you have not approved it with the host and/or event planner. Make sure it is in writing! There is a very fine line between sharing and selling. If you are allowed to sell from the stage, please make sure you are not “selling” the entire time you are up there. The audience wants tangible information, make sure you give, give and give some more. They need to fall in love with you in order to buy into what you are selling. Think about the speakers you liked. What did they do to keep you engaged? Did they sell? What did that look like? Who didn’t you like and why? If you can’t sell from the stage, can you give a “free gift” in order to collect emails? Remember: everything needs to be in writing so everyone is clear on what is expected.
3. Get Moving: Whenever Chris Rock performed as a young comedian, he would stand stock still in front of the microphone. After the veteran Eddie Murphy caught Rock’s act one night, Murphy gave Rock some solid advice. To keep the audience’s attention, Murphy said, get moving. Rock has been stalking the stage ever since. Amy Jen Su and Muriel Maignan Wilkins, who report this anecdote in their book Own The Room: Discover Your Signature Voice To Master Your Leadership Presence, write: “Movement arouses the central nervous system. Our eyes follow movement. [When you move on stage] the audience can’t help but watch. Conversely, when you stop, the sudden absence of movement is compelling and creates emphasis.” Your body movements need to match your messaging and enhance the “story you are telling.”
EXTRA TIP: Stop speaking on stages where the audience is NOT your Avatar. It is a waste of your time and the audience will wonder why you are speaking to them.
Want to learn more about speaking on stages, join us August 16th in Thousand Oaks for my Summer School for Speakers. It’s going to be a real learning experience you won’t want to miss.