Richard McKeown serves as a speaker for company groups, associations and organizations on topics related to professional communication.
Programs are tailored to meet the interests and needs of each client and can include keynote and/or seminar type formats. Contact Richard McKeown to discuss how he can be part of your next meeting or conference.
A presentation is often confused with making a speech. The fact is that very few people ever have to actually give a speech…or want to. Even fewer people want to sit through a speech. When it comes to business presentations, it is important to recognize key distinctions between a speech and a presentation. There are at least two to bear in mind.
First, speeches are typically more about the speaker than they are about the information. In other word, “speakers” tend to have some “celebrity” about them and audiences are there to see the speaker at least as much (usually more so) as they are to hear the information. On the other hand, presentations are more about the information than the presenter.
The second key distinction is that speakers don’t change information; they change audiences. Presenters routinely change information and often speak to the same audiences, or subsets of a consistent broad audience. Thus for the speaker, each speech becomes a dress rehearsal for the next one and they become more comfortable with each delivery and appear more comfortable and confident.
Keep these distinctions in mind as you anticipate and prepare for your presentations. Focus on the audience’s needs and the information first and foremost. Do not put undue performance pressure on yourself. The audience is there for the information, not so much to see you.
Surveys routinely report that speaking in public is among people’s top fears. Depending on the survey, this fear usually alternates between the number one and two fears, trading places with the fear of death! Now that’s fear! The reason cited for the fear of death usually has to do with fear of the unknown.
Fear of the unknown is also at the root of many people’s fear of public speaking. While people may prepare comprehensive notes and talking points and read them over and over again, they really don’t know what’s going to come out of their mouth in the actual presentation until the presentation itself. Like the audience, they are hearing for it the first time, too.
Reading over presentation notes should not be confused with rehearsing the presentation. True rehearsal involves not only going through the presentation orally, but taping and reviewing the delivery. Only when we do this do we know what is actually going to happen, and only then can we begin to overcome the fear of public speaking.
Phone: (501) 425-8357
PO Box 90
Bryant, AR 72089
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