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Speaking- either to live audience or virtually (such as on teleseminars or webinars) is one of the best marketing strategies you can adopt for greater visibility and client attraction. Speaking is an excellent way to get potential clients excited about who you are, what you do, and about working with you.

lecturePresenting your ideas creates a platform for you to be noticed. It gives you the opportunity to make connections that are difficult to make through email or a web page.

So if you’re convinced that speaking and presenting is an important way to grow your business, let’s look at some strategies for making your presentations more memorable.

1) Start strong. Audiences tend to remember the beginning and the end of a presentation best (the primacy and recency effects), so it’s important to start out strong. Of course you’ll want to introduce yourself, but keep it short and sweet. Then move on to the good stuff. Start out with a compelling story or an eye-opening statistic that will really stick in the viewer’s mind. This enables you to take full advantage of the opportunity for increased retention.

2) Images say so much. While the bulk of your presentation will be done by voice, it’s a good idea to support your talking with lots of images and visuals. Make use of compelling graphics. Present ideas in fresh ways. Photos work well, especially ones that are unique and interesting. You can also add in fun graphics where you can. Images help you hold the audience’s attention.

3) If there are multiple speakers, tie your content into theirs. It’s a good idea to refer back to points other speakers made, especially if they were well received. This helps the audience improve their learning and retention, and can help with the transfer of good feelings they have about other speakers to be directed to you.

4) Be interactive. Talk to your audience. Ask for feedback. Ask for input. Engage them in your content and make them feel part of the story. If you can, include exercises within your presentation and then also leave time for questions and answers at the end.

5) Complete it neatly. Participants enjoy summaries of the content, with key points and a call to action of what they can do next. Let them know how they can obtain more information, and how they can access handouts, recordings, or anything else they might be entitled to.

While there are thousands more tips on effective speaking, these five have worked very well for me in the past 14 years. I’ve spoken to audiences ranging in size from 4 people to 1000 people, and these tips have worked well in multiple situations.

Try them for yourself. You’ll probably be invited back.