Become a Better Public Speaker

Become a Better Public Speaker

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I was recently at a seminar that covered social media and best retailing practices. This seminar was given at a fantastic golf club to a group of golf shop merchandisers and PGA Professionals. While attending this seminar, I couldn’t help but notice how important public speaking is when giving a golf lesson. In both situations you are trying to engage your audience and teach them something valuable. You never want to lose the attention of your audience and you should give your audience just enough information to take home and digest. While this seminar did cover most of these correctly, I couldn’t help but notice what could have been better. So I decided to write down a few notes on how golf professionals can present themselves much better through public speaking.

These tips on public speaking can help you both when speaking in front of a crowd AND while giving a golf lesson.

  • Tailor your content to the customer’s situation. Don’t talk over their head, but don’t treat them like they know nothing! Make sure to do your research on who your audience is and their level of knowledge on the subject matter.
  • DO NOT read the slides verbatim from a powerpoint presentation. Your audience can read. You don’t need to read the slide aloud for everyone. (This will definitely put your audience to sleep if you do.)
  • Get out from behind the podium and walk around. When giving a clinic, don’t just stand in one spot – move around and show the audience what you are talking about. Body language can be just as important as what you are saying.
  • Ask the audience questions.  While you’re at it – ask something that will spark controversy.
  • Vary the tone of your voice while speaking – a monotone voice is a sure-fire way to put people to sleep.
  • Get people talking – a quite room can make people feel uncomfortable.
  • Be visible while speaking. This may not apply in all situations, however if you are at a very large conference, then make sure to present yourself to everyone in the room.
  • Good lighting.  It’s OK to be vain about you will look on stage. If light is casting shadows on your face, your appearance won’t look as professional.
  • Stop regurgitating the same information! Be original in the content that you present. Try to give something your own spin if you have to copy. Your audience will appreciate it.
  • Try something new, stand behind it, and voice your opinion. You’re much more likely to gain followers if you stop trying to cater to everybody. Don’t be vanilla!

When giving a clinic to a group of golfers, a golf professional is doing nothing more than public speaking. Great teaching professionals know how to speak in front of crowds, how to keep their interest, and how to engage everyone involved.

A golf professional should want to become “the” source of information when it comes to anything golf.  Becoming an AUTHORITY on the subject of golf is how you build your brand, build loyal customers, and achieve repeat business (plus a host of other great things). When you speak confidently you will earn the trust of your customers.

Hopefully this article has given you a few tools to put into your toolbox!