After covering writing advice from great authors, I wanted to compile a list of the best speaking advice from great public speakers. Each of these tips can be used to help create effective compliance training, but is also just great advice for any speaking engagement you may have.
I can't overstate how important it is to practice your presentation beforehand. Even if you think you know the material from creating the presentation materials, make sure to practice by standing and talking through the entire presentation as though the audience is already in the room.
Being unprepared will make you nervous. An audience can sense immediately when a speaker is not confident about the material they're delivering. Once that happens, your message will be useless and you'll have wasted everyone's time in an attempt to save yourself some time by skipping the prep work.
As we've discussed before, storytelling is critical to connecting with the audience. And there's no story you know better than your own. If you have an even remotely applicable personal story, tell it. You will form an instant connection with your audience, and they'll look at you as a member of the team (instead of some high and mighty compliance person delivering the law from on high - okay maybe that was a bit harsh).
Inspiration is one of the most powerful things an audience can experience. It's also exceedingly rare in a world of template compliance training modules delivered online or through over-worked legal/compliance departments. Ultimately, it is up to you to deliver an authentic, passionate message which your audience can identify with. Provide your audience with a benefit - make their jobs easier. Don't just take up their time with a paper compliance program.
The best speeches sound spontaneous. Even though I've found it extremely helpful to prepare speech scripts by writing them word for word, it's helpful to practice by memorizing points rather than words. This way you won't get stuck in front of the audience trying to remember the next word...
Often we try to hit every topic once (and only once) during compliance training. That way, we think, the audience won't get bored of hearing the same thing over and over. While it is true that there's a fine balance, don't be afraid to hit on an important point more than once. In fact, you're doing your audience a disservice if you give everything equal weight. Companies have different risks and risk tolerances. Make sure to give more time to your company's major risks.
Guy, the guy (ed. note: sorry, we had to) who created the simple 10/20/30 rule for PowerPoint presentations has some great advice for difficult legal training. Never say in many words what you can say with few. And again, avoid compliance jargon and legalese. You will immediately lose your audience.
Do you have any favorites?
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