“So, what are your top three tips for speaking effectively?”

It is a question I get asked frequently and almost everywhere. I have answered this question to friends, to colleagues and to service providers like my cab driver who wanted some quick tips to prepare a great wedding speech. Recently, a friend was visiting and she asked me exactly the same thing; my response to her question prompted me to write this blog.

Here are my top three tips on speaking effectively:

Take your EGO out of the equation: Too many speakers fall prey to their EGO – they make their speeches/talks all about themselves, often with good intentions. Instead, remember that as a speaker your content must be relevant to the audience. It is about ‘them’, not ‘you’.

Tell stories: People remember stories and not data. Since times immemorial, stories have been a part of our lives. In ancient times, the learned and the wise shared knowledge through stories which would further get passed on to the next generations. Such was the power of stories that they became pivotal to not just sharing knowledge but also defined our cultures.

If you pick up the fancy neuroscience research, you would find an enormous emphasis on human need to connect. Neuroscientists go as far as saying that connection is why we are here on the planet. It is a basic, almost a primitive need that we human beings have. Stories facilitate this connection by engaging with your audience. Next time, remember to weave the information that you want to share in the form of a story and see the magic unfold.

Be authentic: Be authentic as a speaker. Speak on the topics that you feel passionate about; say things that you believe in. The audience is smart and they always know whether you are being authentic or not. They engage with you and trust you when you speak what you really believe in. A speaker must definitely earn their trust to succeed.

Are you an authentic and relevant storyteller?

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