Public relations sells itself to young PR girls as a glamourous, upper-class, and classy career full of socializing and promoting the next big thing. By year four of J-School you understand the reality that public relations is about who you know, how you speak, and how you write. Managing relationships and generating influence for yourself, your firm, or client is top priority. Writing is an essential skill for reaching those goals, but what if I told you that public speaking is just as important for success?
Public relations professionals need to strengthen their public speaking ability as much as they do their grammar and writing ability. The safety-net comfort found in the words “um” “like” and the WORST transition statement ever, “so……yeah” are the equivalent to an 8” by 11” paper decorated in red ink to highlight AP style errors. PR girls can set themselves apart from the rest by making public speaking one of their strengths. These top three tips for enhancing public speaking are the way to expert-level public speaking:
Make Your Energy Contagious
A leader sets the tone for their followers. While public speaking you are responsible for the energy in the room; let that be your strength! Regardless of what the subject is being energetic and passionate about the words that are coming out of mouth is proven to be more effective than passivity.
Read Your Crowd
As important as creating an upbeat energy while speaking, you must have the skill to read how the audience is receiving the information that is being provided. Reading the crowd means to check for non-verbal cues such as smiles, slouching, minimal eye-contact and more. Ketchum urges PR professionals to “look carefully” while speaking to tailor your words and make the audience feel like the words were meant for them.
Be Your Own Audience
The worst mistake in public speaking is the decision that is often made to just “wing it” and hope for the best, engaging and effective presentation. THINK AGAIN.
PR Couture stresses that listening to yourself is extremely beneficial for public speaking. As uncomfortable as it may be, preparing behore-hand by practicing solo can help you catch errors in your public speaking ability that would otherwise go unnoticed.
Master your writing, and own your public speaking. Success is found in both.
JOUR 4460 – Blog 4