The Key to Public Speaking: Say Less, Listen More

As customer acquisition leaders, public speaking is par for the course in a normal APEX workday. We routinely discuss techniques to effectively reach and influence audiences. Our messages are primed to engage them. However, the biggest secret to our success is we know how to listen. Let’s explore why this works.

Throughout a typical presentation, a speaker might include several minutes of notes, slides, and handouts prepared to disseminate his or her message to an audience. While it is essential to compile information and create a logical flow, as we’ve learned through APEX training, two-way conversations are more impactful. When we’re doing all the talking, people might be listening, but they’re not participating in the experience. Anyone who has sat through a program in which all questions are held to the end knows that three or four slides later, their questions won’t be as relevant.

At a recent APEX meeting, we discussed how we can turn the balance more when it comes to how much we speak and how much we listen. Rather than preparing a 50-minute presentation with 10 minutes for Q&A, we can make questions the centerpiece of our presentation. This affords us an opportunity to learn more about the audience for whom our messages are developed and to address them based on their needs.

We’re always improving how we do outreach presentations. Follow us on Twitter for more public speaking tips.