How To Advance Your Speaking Skills At Networking Events

Attending meetups and business conferences can be a great way for you to further your career objectives. Not only does it allow you to network with people in your industry, but it also provides you a great opportunity to educate yourself on the latest insights and advances within your industry.

If you plan on attending these types of events on a regular basis, this means that you are going to need to spend some time on developing your speaking skills. Having the ability to talk to a live audience is a great way to not only share your expertise, but it also allows you the opportunity to be seen as an expert by your colleagues.

Therefore, to be a successful speaker means you are going to need to create high quality business presentations and learn how to speak effectively. Here are some tips we learned from some of the professional speakers at on how to deliver a great presentation:

Do Not Use Visual Aids as a Crutch

For most, the visual aid provides the audience something else to look at and the speaker tends to feel more comfortable because eyes are not solely on him. However, using visual aids can be more difficult than a speaker may think, if not properly prepared.

Never use the visual aid as a crutch. Some business professionals falsely believe that a good visual aid would compensate for a poorly written or delivered speech. Plan your speech in such a way that even if your visual aids should fail, you can still continue. You never know when a projector bulb will blow out or a chart is lost in transport. Also, practice with your visual aid before you give the speech. You can easily identify problem spots by doing this.

Where To Stand When Speaking

Another thing to remember is not to stand behind the visual or face the visual aid. An easy trap to fall into is to give your speech to the visual aid. Keep your body angled to the audience and refer to the aid only as necessary. If you have a laser pointer or some way to point out items, all the better. Maintaining your rapport with the audience means keeping your face and eyes to them. The other trap is to stand behind your visual aid and point out items. This is not awkward physically but to watch as well. Stand to the side and point with the arm closest to the aid.

Avoid Discrediting Your Credibility

This may sound obvious to some individuals but it is amazing how often this happens. Because a speaker feels uncomfortable in front of an audience, a natural reaction is to discredit yourself by saying something like, “I’m no public speaker” or “bear with me.” It may seem like a “humble” thing to do but audiences will not respect it. If they are going to listen to you, earn their respect.

According to Motivation Ping, you can maintain your credibility through confidence and your credentials. Without listing all your accomplishments, you can insert your credentials into a speech by using casual references. I have done this throughout the article. I taught public speaking to college students and referenced my credentials in stories I told. Sometimes your credentials are already in play. The person who introduced you to the audience perhaps listed your experience.

Maintain Your Composure At All Times

Whether or not your experience or education comes into play, always maintain your composure and confidence. If you do not feel confident, fake it. The audience will never know the difference and will not respect you if you share your nervousness. 

They may politely smile and offer encouragement but with an admission of nerves, comes the inevitable loss of respect. They may listen to you but will come away from the experience talking about how nervous you were. Instead, give them what they want: a confident speaker they can admire.

When it comes time for your next public speech, be prepared to dazzle your audience with your amazing grasp of language, flawless use of visual aids and superior confidence.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.