Public speaking doesn’t just mean presenting to an auditorium full of people – although that certainly falls under the banner. Rather, public speaking literally refers to ‘speaking‘ in front of a ‘public‘ … basically any single person other than your reflection in the mirror.

Whilst a TEDx gig will encourage months of research, writing and re-writing and rehearsals, all too often leaders plough headfirst into a public speaking opportunity – meetings, sales pitch, Skype call, company address, interview, networking events – without the same due consideration of what it is we want to convey to their audience and why.

Every single day of the week, business leaders and business owners need to communicate something to an audience, whether that’s an audience of one or one thousand. If you want your audience to listen and connect with what you are saying, before you next speak publicly, take the time to ask yourself:

  • What message do you want to deliver?
  • Who is your audience and what do they already know?
  • Why are you telling them and why should they listen?
  • What response are you looking for once they have heard your message?
  • How will you know if you have been heard and understood?