Real estate agents speak publically or publically speak every day. “I do?” you ask. Yes, you do. Whether you are making a listing presentation to one client, welcoming several people who simultaneously wander into your open house at the same time or keynote speaking to a standing-room-only crowd at a conference, you are publically speaking.

Call it what you will, speaking publically or public speaking, know that everyone feels a bit of butterflies in their stomachs when they have to get up in front of people to deliver a message. You and your butterflies are not alone; you and your butterflies are just like everyone else’s.

Also know that you need those butterflies. They tell you that you care enough about wanting to do your best while you’re publically speaking.

Here are 15 tips about speaking publically/public speaking that will help you deliver your best message.

  1. 18 minutes is the maximum amount of time an adult can pay attention before they lose interest/ become distracted, according to research done by TED Talks.
  2. Be in the mindset of serving your audience.
  3. Arrive early. Even if you sit in your car waiting for your appointment time, you’ll learn something about your client. If speaking in front of a crowd, arrive early to get comfortable in the room, test the mic volume, set up your notes, arrange any room props the way you want them, etc.
  4. Greet attendees as they arrive so you’ll be speaking with friends, not speaking to strangers.
  5. Start speaking on time. It’s courteous and respectful.
  6. Start with a story. People love stories. Unless you’re a trained stand-up comedian who is skilled with pacing and timing, use relatable anecdotes, not jokes.
  7. Lay out your objectives so your audience of one, five or 500 knows what to expect from your talk. Also tell them how you prefer to handle their questions…as they have them, at the end of your presentation, etc.
  8. Remember to use emotions…yours and theirs. Logic rules minds but the ultimate acceptance of your ideas hinges upon emotional recognition and connection.
  9. Prepare and practice. Preparation means studying your topic. Practice means practicing in front of a mirror, in front of a friend or two, in front of a camera, etc. again and again and again and again.
  10. Hit the pause button before and after your key points to emphasize that what you’re saying is, in fact, key. Silence is powerful.
  11. Speak from knowledge, not memory. It’s more than fine to use notes as long as your notes are clear (typed, color coded, succinct) and large enough for you to be able to read them.
  12. Take your subject seriously, not yourself.
  13. Be mindful of your body language. Make eye contact with your client, your audience from every angle in the room. Smile. No verbal tics such as “ya know.” No sweeping your hair off your face. No jingling your change in your pocket.
  14. Be an active listener to your audience/colleagues so you can update your message as you go.
  15. Less is more regardless of how important your information. 18 minutes is the maximum amount of time an adult can pay attention before they lose interest/become distracted.

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