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Public speaking and self-presentation: How to educate the speaker in you

Part Two

To quote Coco Chanel’s iconic words:
The success of communication with your audience heavily depends on your self-presentation. The audience decides whether they’re into you in the first 30 seconds. Consider the beginning of any talk as a chance to express yourself, make your point, and convince your audience through a well-prepared, confidently delivered, and valuable conversation.

In part one of this two-part article series, I talked about the seven common sins of a public speaker. In this part, I show how easy it is to have excellent self-presentation if you use these simple and effective guidelines. They comprise seven steps.

Let’s get started!

Public speaking stage

7 steps of self-presentation

1. Greetings

Start with “hello,” no matter how obvious it sounds :-) and welcome the audience while interacting with them. It won’t hurt anybody even if you already met them all that day beforehand. 

The greeting should be a separate, complete phrase or even a single word: “Hello!” or “Good afternoon!” The intonation should be friendly, naturally rising and falling. After this, add a pause before introducing  your name.

2. Introduction

Pronounce your name and surname as one unit without separating them. The trick is to pause before and after pronunciation. By emphasizing your name in this manner, your audience will remember your name far more easily! It is essential to start with your first name followed by your last name and not vice versa. Also, when introducing yourself, clearly pronounce your name as a complete thought with a necessary intonation point.

3. Occupation

State your current profession so that the people can understand who you are and how to communicate with you.

4. Four facts

Moving on, reveal four essential facts about yourself. They should be as quantitative as possible, i.e. indicators of your achievements in numbers! Enumerating is important; it will make it clear to the listeners how trustworthy you are to them as a communication partner.

Also, these facts shouldn’t sound like sentences from your resume. The achievements will shape a positive image of you in their imagination. It will then become a conclusion they reach and not an imposed opinion upon them by you. For example: “... I’m a quality analyst consultant in the global technology company with 42 offices in 15 countries at Thoughtworks. My working experience in IT spans over six years. Having a degree in applied maths and informatics in Ukraine, I started my career in my home country. Later on, at 23, I got a Blue Card and moved to Germany.”

5. Mission, vectors, goal…

Next, tell a story (in several sentences) about your current work, plans, and goals. Cover your current priorities, what you are dreaming about, and what goals you are trying to achieve.  Expand on what self-development vectors you see and what your career interest areas are right now. What you are dreaming about or what goals you are trying to achieve. It will help the audience visualize your words, emotionally delight them, and bringing understanding and empathy.

6. Message plus motto 

Finish your self-presentation with a summary of your key message. It will stick with the audience if it’s framed as your personal/company motto.  For example: “Free to make your mark” or “Sense with your heart, convince by your word!”

7. Farewell

It is crucial to thank and wrap up the speech with the intonation point: “Thank you for your attention! Until we meet again!”- use rising and then falling intonation. This technique will make the audience understand that you have finished your speech.

Take your time learning how to improve self-presentation and train it until it turns into a natural skill. Practice makes perfect!

Public Speaking Discussion

All the best, with your future performances! Remember, you have done it, and it was awesome!

Disclaimer: The statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Thoughtworks.

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