How To Be A Better Speaker At Your Next Food Event

As the foodie industry continues to grow, major food events and conferences are popping up all over the world. Just recently, Taste Terminal has participated in such events as the National Home Brewers Conference as well as the 7th Annual Food Event. As an industry expert, this means that you will be asked to give a presentation or talk on whatever you are currently working on. Because of this, you will need to sharpen your public speaking skills if you want things to go well for you. If you are being asked to speak, here are some tips that will help you nail your nexts  talk or presentation.

Prepare Your Speech

It should go without saying that you want to actually offer information worth listening to and spend time writing the actual speech so that it will flow well. Successful speakers respect their audiences when they deliver worthy material concisely. Then stay within the allotted time and don’t go over, as audiences may mentally check out and not hear the final points. Above all, the message should be sincere. “Audiences will forgive mistakes, but they will not forgive insincerity” suggests Dan Smith of the speaking site Keynote Speaker.

A speaker should also pay attention to the body language of the audience members and adapt himself. If they are folding their arms, they are resistant to his message, so he should slow down, explain it more fully and watch for their posture to relax. If they nod, the speaker will know he is getting his point across.

Speakers will be eyeballed, so they do need to spend time on grooming. It really matters how one looks and surprisingly, shoes matter a lot. Be clean and have a good haircut, and wear clothes that are without spots or rips, even small ones.

Communication Skills in Public Speaking

Know who the audience is so that the speech can be tailored to its interests. For instance, one speaker, while speaking at the LA Weekly Food & Wine Event, found his repertoire of jokes falling flat and realized his listeners were steeped in a culture dominated by the automobile industry. He adjusted and started to make quips about cars, finally getting the reactions he wanted.

According to the website Motivational Speaker, effective speeches are organized according to Monroe’s five steps of the motivated sequence, with each step logically leading to the next:

  • attention
  • need
  • satisfaction
  • visualization
  • call to action

After determining how each step will be conveyed, they need to be further fleshed out with one or more of the seven forms of verbal support:

  1. explanation
  2. analogy or comparison
  3. illustration
  4. specific instances
  5. statistics
  6. testimony
  7. restatement

If the time allotted for a speech is shortened or the speaker is asked to condense his material, he should give just one of his points with supporting material rather than summarizing all his main points. People will forget the main points if they are unsupported but will remember one well-delivered point.

How to Hide a Fear of Speaking in Public

One of the biggest fears people have is public speaking, so how can anyone overcome this typical phobia? A person generally has no control over what he feels, but he does have control over his actions and what he does with those feelings. He can pause, take a deep breath, or fold his hands to prevent them from signaling his fear to the audience.

He can also over-prepare so that he is fully versed on his subject and can discuss it almost without thinking. He can practice in front of a mirror or before a good friend who will be honest with feedback. With practice, practice, practice comes confidence, confidence, confidence.

It may surprise most aspiring orators to learn that the quaking of their knees and trembling in their voices is not as obvious to their listeners as they assume. Most audiences are rooting for their speaker and want him to communicate his message effectively. They feel embarrassed for him when he makes mistakes, so try to forget oneself and act confident even if not feeling that way, and confidence will come.

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