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Workshop: Public Speaking

Workshop: Public Speaking


With years of corporate presentations behind her, marketing consultant Emily Scoggins revealed her top tips for public speaking:

First off was: “Know your conference.” Know what you’re being asked to do before you get up and do it. She reminded the room: “You’ve been asked because you’re the subject matter expert. Believe in your abilities and knowledge.”

“Look at audience and see what’s resonating well with people.”

She advised people to prepare by thinking about who the audience would be. Consider who’s in the room and what do they want to get out of it. What’s the thing they want to understand and what do you want them to take away.

A top tip she imparted was not to take a script in because the temptation to look down and read it is too great. “You need to look up,” she explained. “Look at audience and see what’s resonating well with people.”

She suggested filming yourself in private speaking to camera, to see how you come across. Watch your body language and see how you’re moving. “Then delete the video,” she joked.

Remember to pause for great effect. You can talk more slowly than you think you can, and people will still listen. Slowing down means every sentence makes an impact.

If you’re on a panel, think about it like you’re in a pub, she advised. The usual rules of conversation apply: listen to people and respond. Don’t go in with your own agenda that doesn’t fit the conversation.

Finally, she said, while you can enjoy all the social aspects of a conference, don’t do your talk hungover.