Public Speaking With Finesse

By Kelly Quigley, REALTOR® Magazine

The How of Wow: A Guide to Giving a Speech That Will Positively Blow ’Em Away by Tony Carlson (AMACOM, 2005)

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Giving a speech is a prime opportunity to build your personal brand and connect with prospects. But for many people, public speaking is a source of anxiety—something that’s avoided at all costs. Rather than pass up a chance to get your name out and reinforce your expertise, learn how to give a confident speech that will resonate with listeners. This book will guide you through every step—from deciding whether to accept a speaking engagement to crafting a memorable message that captures the audience’s attention. Each chapter is written concisely and concludes with “key points” to remember. You’ll walk away knowing the traps to avoid and the extra touches that make a speech successful.

Tips From the Book:

  • You don’t have to say yes. Public speaking is a wonderful opportunity, but there are instances in which it’s best to take a pass. To decide whether or not to accept an offer to speak, first consider who the audience will be and whether speaking to them will help you meet your goals. Ask yourself if you’re comfortable speaking on the designated topic, and find out if there will be other speakers.
  • Observe many and emulate the best. Some of the best speakers of our time have borrowed tricks and techniques from other speakers they admire. You can do the same. Watch as many speaking engagements as you can—either live or on TV—and jot down the styles that resonate with you. Also, note the styles that you really don’t like so you can avoid falling into the same traps.
  • Keep a “good stuff” file. When surfing the Web, browsing magazines, or reading the daily newspaper, clip the interesting articles or factoids that could spice up your speech. Surprising statistics, witty jokes, and fun historical trivia will capture the audience’s attention and make your speech more memorable.