The golden rules of public speaking | News | MN2S Talent

Wondering what makes a good speaker at corporate events?

Whether you’re giving a speech yourself or booking a celebrity speaker for your next event, there are a few golden rules to follow that can help you ensure your entertainment is a total success.

An interesting and engaging public speaker will add an extra level of enjoyment for guests at any event, and could turn a mediocre occasion into a memorable one; but it’s all too easy to get wrong.

They apply whether you’re getting ready to give a speech at your best friend’s wedding or choosing and briefing after dinner speakers for corporate events; the key thing is to remember that it’s all about your audience and their enjoyment.

Understand the room

Corporate events

The most important people in the room whoever happens to be making a speech are the audience, and they must be taken into consideration both when booking a celebrity speaker and when giving a speech yourself.

If you’ve decided to book an after dinner speaker for your event, you should do so with a clear idea of the type of person that your audience would enjoy hearing from. Try to leave your own feelings and opinions at the door and choose the most suitable person for the job – someone your audience is familiar with and will have warm feelings towards.

If need be, pull together a mini-focus group of colleagues or other attendees to come up with some names and give you ideas of the sorts of guests who will go down well.

If you’re giving a speech yourself then make sure that speech is tailored to your audience; both in terms of its content and, if necessary, in terms of self-censorship. The last thing you want to do is offend your grandmother or swear in front of kids, so if in doubt make sure your speech is as inoffensive as possible.

Likewise, if you’re booking someone to speak you should let them know of any sensitive topics ahead of time – a religious group won’t appreciate jokes at their expense but a younger audience might be perfectly happy with a little blue humour.

Don’t be afraid to deviate

There’s nothing worse than someone who is reading word-for-word from the script in front of them. Variety is the spice of life and sticking too closely to your notes can make a speech that’s funny and entertaining on paper dull and boring when it’s delivered.

Make eye contact, smile and look up from your notes, and don’t be afraid to change up the wording a little as you go.

Likewise, brief a speaker you’ve booked in the same way; let them know that you’d prefer them to fumble a few words than to sound like a robot!

Timing is everything

Like comedians, people giving speeches need to have impeccable timing; not just for the jokes that they tell but when a speech is made and how long it is.

There’s no hard and fast rule for these things, because each public speaking occasion is different from the next; while a best man’s speech should probably come in at less than 10 minutes, attendees might feel somewhat cheated if a celebrity speaker at a charity ball or corporate event didn’t give a longer speech.

Make sure if you’re booking an after dinner speaker that you allow them the courtesy of reading the room – if people are starting to look restless they may bring their anecdote to a close a little more quickly, if they’ve got the room then they might draw it out a little.

Finally, ensure that the public speaking component of an event is at the right place in the itinerary. Too late and guests will be distracted, but your guests will probably enjoy speeches or entertainment more if they have eaten and had a drink first, to ensure a relaxed atmosphere without rumbling stomachs!

Celebrity agency

If you’re looking for a brilliant after dinner speaker to help entertain your guests, then you’re in the right place. Whether it’s an endorsement at a product launch, a charismatic celebrity speaker for a charity ball or someone to present awards at your company’s awards evening, there’s sure to be someone who’ll fit the bill on our books.
From actors and musicians to sports stars and TV presenters, we’ve got speakers who can entertain any audience – why not contact us today to see how we can help your next event to be a big hit?

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