December 2, 2010

7 people skills for public speaking success

I wrote a post two years ago asking, "Are you a people person?" There are certain qualities a "people person" brings to the table as a speaker, including empathy, observation, open-mindedness and other essentials.

I was reminded of this again recently while on a phone conversation with someone who I needed to connect with to use a space for an event.

This person made me feel like it was a chore to deal with me, like she was so busy and I was interrupting her. It was not a good feeling. Unbeknownst to her, her boss wants to refer her to my coaching program. I would be glad to have her!

It doesn't matter if you're on the phone, on the stage, or responding to e-mails. Whether you're in front of the audience already, or just making plans with your organizer, you must follow these guidelines:

1. Be pleasant and friendly.

2. Make it easy for others to work with you.

3. Be assertive, but flexible.

4. Be clear in your communication, whether in person, on the phone, or by e-mail (or Twitter or Facebook!).

5. Be positive.

6. Put aside judgments and preconceptions.

7. Listen -- and hear.

If you're curt, sarcastic, bored, crabby, annoyed, brusque, huffy, unmotivated, rushed, grumpy, or unfriendly, no one is going to want to work with you. And this is before you ever get on stage. Unless you're a very spoiled or famous CEO or celebrity, no one is going to take your crap.

You may not like people very much. But you better learn to work with them if you want to be a successful speaker.

Read this for suggestions on using your people skills once you're on stage.

What would you add to the list?

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2 comments. Please add yours! :

Unknown said...

Hi Lisa. You are so right. I believe that in order to be a successful speaker, you have to be a people person. People wont like you if you dont like them.Its just the way people are. I also believe that speakers are leaders. After all you cant lead if you cant communicate well. For more about this please check out my blog at ..Any insights from you would be most welcome :)

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Thanks for your comment, Alex. You put it very succinctly: "People won't like you if you don't like them." It really is as simple as that!

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