Giving a talk: The 25 best speaker tips

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Giving a talk: The 25 best speaker tips

You want to give an important lecture soon?

For some years now, more and more people have been looking for their way onto the big stage. However, it can take several years to get started as a professional speaker. To help you get started in this exciting business, we have prepared a total of 25 tried-and-tested tips in this article that you can use for your keynote.

Of course, it's not necessary to include all the tips in your first keynote. It's just important that you pick out the tips that make sense to you. You'll find that the ideas in this article will help you have more stage presence and make a better impact with your audience. So if you have to give a presentation soon, it will be a complete success.

You can also download our free Keynote Presentation Workbook here. There you'll get a template that you can use to develop your first Keynote or improve an existing presentation.

Giving a talk: These 25 speaker tips will make your keynote a blast

1. the 10-second rule

The first 10 seconds of your speech will determine whether your keynote is a complete success. Here are a few ways you can grab the audience's attention right away.

Informative entry: "Did you know? Already in 20 years the Climate Change ...will be responsible for numerous natural disasters. If we want to save the planet, we must take the initiative now."

Rhetorical question: ,"Are you tired of letting your fears rule your life? Wouldn't you much rather become the designer of your life and determine your own destiny?"

Personal Experience: Just three years ago, I couldn't pay the rent on my apartment by myself. I was penniless and torn apart inside. How I managed the way out of my life crisis, I would like to reveal to you today."

2. clear beats clever

When giving a presentation, get to the heart of your message. Speak in short sentences. Avoid nested sentences. Because on stage the motto is: clear beats clever! Why is that? Clear sentences immediately get into your head and stick. Here are some examples:

  • THOUGHTFUELING will take you further.
  • Redbull gives wings
  • Square. Practical. Good.
  • Are you still living or are you already living?
  • That's where you get help.

3. emotion instead of information

Giving a talk is like taking the audience on a journey. On this journey, they want to experience emotions and not be bored with dry information. Therefore, avoid making your keynote like a university lecture.

Otherwise, you will lose your audience quickly. And there is nothing worse for a speaker than an audience that blindly looks past him. That's why it's important to include emotional elements in your keynote, because that's how you keep your audience's attention.

4. convey the core message

Many speakers tend to ramble when giving a talk. While giving a speech, they jump from topic to topic and lose sight of the core message. The result: the audience loses orientation and thus also loses interest in the presentation.

As a speaker, it is therefore essential to follow a common thread that leads to the core message. To help you achieve this, we have prepared a workbook that you can download now.

5. gifts & anecdotes

Stories & anecdotes are part of a good keynote. They make messages tangible and contribute to a better identification with the content. For this reason, you should also include exciting stories and anecdotes in your keynote to noticeably improve your effect on the audience.

This can be a personal story from your past that has had a particular impact on you. Zero-to-hero stories" are particularly popular. These are stories that describe the path from difficult circumstances to success.

Six. What's in for me?

Why do people attend lectures & seminars? Is it because of the speaker? Most certainly! However, there is another reason as well. Audiences come primarily because they hope to gain a personal benefit for their own lives.

It is therefore important for a speaker to distinguish himself less through his own successes when giving a speech. Instead, the focus should be on the audience's problems and satisfactory solutions should be presented.

7. keynote architecture

A good keynote follows a clear structure. When giving a speech, you can orient yourself on numerous methods that have proven to be effective in practice. Here is an example method: The KAUB formula is particularly suitable for beginners who want to gain their first experience as a keynote speaker.

The KAUB formula

Contact Phase: At this point, a relationship with the audience should be established with an "icebreaker".

Attention phase: In this phase, the audience is slowly guided towards the topic and the key messages of the presentation.

Briefing: This is where the main part of the lecture begins. Important information is shared and clarified with appropriate exercises.

Affirmative: The keynote ends with the affirmation of the core messages. The audience is encouraged to put them into practice.

8. audience interaction

The times when the speaker stood monotonously at the lectern and simply rattled off his content are over. Nowadays, the audience expects more. This should be involved in the presentation of the speaker with. We would now like to tell you what possibilities you have to do this.

Ask questions: As a keynote speaker, you can engage the audience by asking questions. If you are particularly spontaneous, you can pick up the answers and use them for the rest of the presentation.

Group Exercises: You build up a closeness to the audience mainly through exercises. This can be, for example, a group meditation or other interactive elements.

1-to-1 demonstration: You want to prove content that might be viewed skeptically? Then demonstrate this with exercises on the participants.

9. make voltage

Does the term "infotainment" mean anything to you? It is a combination of the terms information and entertainment. Contemporary speakers rely on the combination of these two terms when giving a speech, because this is the best way to pick up the audience.

For this reason, it is important to create a mood in the audience in between your speech. You can achieve this, for example, by incorporating a motivating song into your keynote speech and thus animating the audience.

10. join-in exercises

Earlier we mentioned how important it is to involve the audience when giving a presentation. At this point, we would like to introduce you to 3 further participation exercises that have proven to be particularly effective in practice.

Future Pacing: This is an exercise originating from Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP). The audience is taken on a journey. The aim is to suggest to him what feelings and what life he will have if he puts the contents of the lecture into practice.

Audience Report: Rapport is also a term from NLP and means the mutual connection between two people or a group of people. This can be evoked, for example, by the audience performing exercises among themselves, which cause a sense of community.

Guided Meditation: A guided meditation during a keynote can have a tremendous effect on the audience. This helps to put the audience in a positive emotional state and thus full of Motivation leaves the lecture in order to subsequently put the lectured contents into practice.

11. keep energy levels high

A modern speaker resembles an entertainer. The latter is always characterized by a high energy level. That's why it's also important for you as a speaker to have a high energy level when giving a speech, which will help you to engage the audience. Here are 3 quick tips on how to bring more power on stage.

Music: Create a playlist of songs that push you and tap into your energy reserves. For example, songs that you associate with positive experiences.

Sports: Don't worry. You don't have to run a marathon before a keynote. You just need to do some calisthenics or run in place beforehand. This way you'll release some adrenaline and boost your energy level. When you give your presentation, you will notice that you have much more power.

The inner cinema film: Imagine how it feels when you enter the stage and the audience applauds you. This imagination alone is sure to trigger energy in you, which you can then use effectively for your real performance.

12. the power of the voice

When giving a speech, the voice is one of the most important tools of a speaker. It must be used in a targeted manner in order to achieve the greatest possible effect on the audience. It is important to speak calmly and thoughtfully so that important key concepts and core messages are better anchored in the minds of the audience.

13. make targeted use of breaks

When giving a presentation, it is important to use pauses purposefully. Pauses contribute to the fact that important content and messages are better absorbed and internalized by the audience. However, you should make sure that the pauses fit exactly, otherwise the presentation will seem choppy.

14. observe speaking tempo

In addition to pauses, it is also important to consider the pace of speaking when giving a speech. Many speakers make the mistake of just rattling off their talk because they are afraid of making a mistake. However, it's perfectly fine if a keynote doesn't go 100% perfectly. It's more important to stay authentic and not come across as a robot.

15. use body language purposefully

The targeted use of body language when giving a speech is also immensely important if you want to convey a message in a targeted manner. In this context, the speaker should pay particular attention to a self-confident posture. The shoulders should be pushed back and the chest pressed forward. In this way, you appear more present and take the stage better.

16. powerpoint vs. freestyle

PowerPoint vs. freestyle when giving a talk? This is the point where opinions differ. While some swear by freestyle, others are convinced that a PowerPoint is incredibly important to better communicate the desired message. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. You should find a healthy balance and not overdo it with slides.

17. stage design

What does the stage of a modern speaker look like? Should he have props at his disposal when giving a talk? Here, too, you basically enjoy absolute freedom. The only important thing is that you don't overload the stage with countless props. After all, a keynote is not a play. So if you do use props, they should be related to the keynote.

18. use aids

Should you use aids when giving a talk and if so, which ones? Here, too, you enjoy absolute freedom as a speaker. You decide for yourself whether you want to speak freely or rather use a PowerPoint presentation. If you choose the latter, be sure to use a clicker. This way you have control over the slides and don't have to hope for the right timing from a technician. Of course, you can also use exotic tools like instruments or sports equipment if they fit your content and support your core message.

19. insert plot twist

Many keynotes are predictable when giving a talk. This has to do with the fact that many keynote speakers copy each other. In this way, individuality is lost above all. That's why it's especially beneficial to incorporate plot twists into your keynote and surprise the audience with something unexpected. This is how you stand out as a speaker from the average and position yourself as a leading expert.

20. the element of surprise

What can a moment of surprise look like when giving a talk? For example, you can give an unexpected twist to an obvious story. Or you can mirror a seemingly personal story to the audience so that they recognize themselves in it. Or you can take the audience in a new direction with a provocative question to get their attention. Think of 3 surprise moments and write them as comments in the article. We are very excited to see what you come up with. Or do you have a special surprise moment that you have used in the past when giving a talk?

21. mistakes are part of it

It is absolutely right to have memorized your keynote to the last detail. However, you should not frantically try not to make any mistakes. Because mistakes are part of the life of a keynote speaker and make the keynote itself and you as a person much more authentic. Or to put it in a nutshell: The world will not end if you make a mistake or deviate from the script once while giving a talk. So giving a speech doesn't mean being perfect, but having the courage to allow yourself small mistakes every now and then.

22. move correctly

How does a speaker move when giving a talk? Does he stand motionless on stage or does he move from spot to spot? The answer is: it's all in the mix! If the goal is to convey profound messages, then you should stand in the middle of the stage, lower your voice and slow down your speaking pace. If you want to communicate important information quickly one after the other, then you can move from left to right on the stage. The Americans call this approach "tiggling".

23. humor helps

In the past, lectures were long-winded, dry and completely uninteresting. Surely you have also heard such lectures. If you have studied, you will know such lectures from university times.

Especially when it comes to complicated topics (e.g. technology), there is a danger that a presentation becomes boring. With a bit of humour or a suitable joke, you can loosen up the subject matter and thus gain the attention of the audience. This way you can give a presentation that will be remembered. And that is ultimately exactly what you want as a speaker.

24. be authentic

Authenticity is the key to success. The audience can tell if you are real or pretending. Therefore, stay true to your line and try to convince the audience of you in a natural way.

Because if you are authentic, you will be remembered in people's minds. They will remember your individuality. And that, in turn, will make you stand out from the gray mass of the average. As soon as you have to give your next speech, you should pay special attention to this point in particular.

25. practice, practice, practice!

No master has ever fallen from the sky. Even top speakers such as Tobias Beck, Dr. Stefan Frädrich or Michael Rossié always take enough time to prepare their speeches accordingly. When they give a speech, nothing is left to chance.

The result is always a stage performance that will be remembered. And that's why it's also true for you: Practice until the keynote sits! If you're still unsure how to build your keynote, download our free keynote workbook here.

Giving a talk: 25 tips for speakers to improve the quality of your keynote speech

In this article, we have presented you with a total of 25 tried and tested tips that you can use to improve the quality of your keynote. With the tips from this article, you will be able to captivate your audience and deliver more value. When you have to give your next talk, you'll be fully prepared. Guaranteed!

Which of the tips did you like best? Do you have any other tips that you use on stage that work particularly well? When you have to give a talk, what do you pay special attention to? Feel free to share your ideas with us in the comments. We'd love to hear any other suggestions you have.

When you yourself Become a Keynote SpeakerIf you want to give a speech soon or just want to improve your rhetoric, you can download our free workbook on keynote speakers here.

Reviewed by Dr. med. Stefan Frädrich

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