October 23, 2010

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SMG Talk

Top Ten Tips For Great Speeches

How do you start a great conversation?
And, most importantly how do you keep your audience engaged and interested in what you have to say? In business, and in sports, the most successful players are those who are able to speak well and express their ideas. Advertisers and sponsors are galvanized, and fans can’t get enough.

How can you become a stimulating speaker and conversationalist? Here are ten suggestions
you can use immediately in business and social situations.

1. Put your personality in the spotlight
Be energetic, friendly and gregarious in sharing your experiences and ideas.

2. Be passionate
What gets you excited? What makes your blood boil? What do you care about most? Your family, your friends, your dog, or sports? Use that passion to express yourself.

3. Be confident
Express yourself with confidence in a positive manner, have the courage to speak your mind to invite reaction and response.

4. Do your homework
Take time out to learn about your audience, fans, the executives with whom you are meeting and the businesses you’re representing. People will be thrilled that you’ve taken an interest in what they are most passionate about and will be excited to talk to you.

5. Listen
The art of listening is a critical part of being a great conversationalist! Be attentive to what others are saying, ask follow up questions, be responsive.

6. Ask open-ended questions
How long have you been a part of this organization? What are your have plans for the weekend? Your artwork is beautiful, how long have you been collecting?

7. Smile
Nothing lights up a room like a smile! Remember to make eye contact when you do.

8. Find Common Ground/ Don’t get stuck in small talk
While you may start a conversation with, “the weather outside is frightful”, don’t get stuck in small talk. Have a purpose to your conversation, whether it be business or friendship, use open-ended questions to help share opinions and ideas and to accomplish the goal of the conversation.

9. Be Aware of Your body Language
Often body language says it all! Turn your body towards the person to whom you are talking, make eye contact, lean forward, smile and listen intently.

10. Give, Take, Share
Fundamentally, great conversations are about give and take. Remember to share your insights, and listen while your partner shares his/her thoughts. Both are crucial elements in the art of conversation.

*Bonus: Have Fun!
Remember you’re not the only person in the room who is nervous. Laugh, smile, have fun and you’ll soon be known as a great conversationalist!

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