5 Things Influential Speakers Do That Others Don't
There’s a structure to being an influential speaker.
It’s not just what you say through your words that’s important, but what you’re saying through your image and energy, too. Actually, the words are the least important in my opinion.
It’s the tone of your presentation that will sweep people up and take them on a journey with you through your excitement and passion for your topic.
But to be that engaging, you have to first get out of your own way. Stop worrying about what you’re saying and who’s listening or not. You need to be present at your presentation.
Here are 5 key steps to becoming a confident and influential speaker.
1. Engage energetically – the most untapped tool you can use.
If you’ve read my book “Sleeping Your Way to the Top – (get your free copy here)” you will know that the energy you bring to your presentation will make it or break it.
Each time you engage with someone, your energy affects the interaction. IF you’re feeling down, you can bring everyone down with you – unless they are the master of their own energy, of which few are. If you’re feeling vibrant and alive, you lift people up. It’s simple. Don’t beat yourself up about where you are energetically in your daily life. With awareness comes change. You’ll automatically begin to shift by default and become the master of managing your own energy as well as that of your audience when you’re up on stage.
Take a look at this table from my book. It represents our energy as numeric values. You’ll see that 5 is middle ground – not happy, not unhappy. In other words, neutral.
The purpose of this scale isn’t to always engage your audience at any one level, i.e. at a level 10. Can you imagine a Harry Potter movie constantly engaging you at a level 10? It would get exhausting as it would be to constantly engage someone neutrally. If you stay in one place for too long you either bore people or exhaust them. Flow up and down the scale throughout your presentation just as a movie storyline would do. It has its quiet moments to incite thought, as well as its energetic moments to create lasting emotions and ultimately change.
Its purpose is to shift people energetically up and down the scale to then end on a peak to leave them remembering you and your message.
Engage them negatively
Taking your audience below a level 5 can bring about the change they need to shift up the scale and to take real action. Just don’t leave them in that negative state for too long or they’ll remain stuck and they’ll associate with you negatively.
Each level has its purpose and can be achieved through story telling, pace, tone, images, humour, frustration, fear, language, presence and most importantly, your energy and how it is expressed. It’s how you master this that will see you become massively influential.
When you deliver a presentation picture yourself in control of where the audience goes. You’re at the helm. It’s your responsibility to take them where they need to go to get the outcomes that they desire – no matter what topic you’re speaking on.
It’s this injection of this ‘x-factor’ skill that instantly makes your personal brand remarkable.
What else can you do to stand out?
Release inhibitions that prevent you from being you. Be unapologetic for who you are. Not everybody is going to like you. When you release this, you can be present and influential.
“Your job is to incite conversations that incites change.” Ben Angel
That’s your duty when you take the stage. Don’t regurgitate a message that has been presented a thousand times before. Reinvent it with your own personal twist, and purposefully and strategically incite specific emotions from your audience. Inner conflict, resolution, passion, anger, relief, positive expectation; whatever matches your message and purpose.
2. Manage the way you look.
- Don’t look past image. The colour of your dress / suit / tie can influence how people perceive you. Use high contrast colours such as black and white to make a statement, or blue for trustworthiness.
- Wear red sparingly on stage because it can send a message to people’s subconscious suggesting that you are aggressive. Soft colours or tones can make you appear weak.
- If you were to respond to negative media coverage, choose to wear softer colours over high contrast to deflect an attack.
Your clothing should never speak louder than your words. It should complement it and yet have a unique style that sets you apart from others within your field.
3. And then there’s the matter of people…. What happens when you get attacked on stage?
There are ways to manage an audience so that they are with you all the way. Here’s an example.
If you ever have someone ‘egg you on’ or fervently disagree with you while you’re up on stage, put your hands up in the air as if you’re being held up at gun point. This changes how the audience perceives you and presents the individual disagreeing with you as a bully which helps to immediately diffuse the situation.
Former Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard pulled this move when she was aggressively confronted by a journalist on her campaign trail some years ago. She strategically employed this technique to appear the victim and the journalist the aggressor to change the public’s perception on the situation. Love her or hate her, this quick thinking immediately defused what could have been a media disaster.
(If you need more help with this, take a look at the NO.1 Secret to Getting Your Big Pay Day as a Professional Speaker.)
4. There’s a secret to presenting.
I’ve worked out the secret to holding the audience in the palm of your hand through your entire presentation and I’ve broken it down into 4 steps. Structure your presentation using this formula to get buy in and stack credibility factors in your favour. It will have the audience clamouring to speak with you afterwards.
- What and Who? Who are you and what is it you are going to talk about? More importantly, explain what problem you intend to solve.
- Why? Why are you talking on this topic? What’s in it for the audience? Tell them what benefits they will gain by listening to you.
- How? How can they apply the information you are sharing? Is there a step by step process they need to follow? Include some real life examples to show how it works and to demonstrate immediate credibility.
- Why and where to next? Finally, explain why you shared the “how” information – “The reason I am sharing these steps with you is so that…” And the where to next? Simple. Lead into the products and services you offer which are the logical next step in their progress.
What you’ve done in those four steps is to prove that you understand what your audience is looking for and prove that you’re the person to give it to them. It’s four steps to instant credibility and its also four steps that personal development guru Tony Robbins uses for each of his presentations and why he’s incredibly compelling as a speaker.
5. Visualise success and overcome your crippling fear
It works. Believe me; I know!
We all have to overcome some level of fear before we step out on stage. You probably know that public speaking is the number one fear for most people. Your challenge is to conquer that fear and the best way to do that is to visualise your own success.
If you’re going to lie there in bed picturing the worst, that’s what you’ll get. So flip your thinking. See people applauding you. See yourself standing confidently and speaking coherently. The more you do it, the more firmly it becomes anchored into your mind.
You are tricking your subconscious mind into thinking you’ve already been there and done that – and done it well! Which means, if you’ve been there and done that before, you have nothing to worry about, do you?
Visualising helps you get yourself out of your own way so you can focus on success.
Practice these 5 steps. They worked for me and I know they will work for you, too. They are tricks of the trade few no of.
Have you got any speaking tips?
Post them in the comments section now..