Fact: PR pros must be good writers, listeners and speakers to be effective communicators.
Well, I love to write (clearly). And I’m a great listener. But public speaking kind of scares me.
So when Deirdre Breakenridge gave me a couple inside tips at this week’s FPRA annual conference, I more than welcomed them.
- Sing Mary Had a Little Lamb. You don’t literally have to sing this. But her point was that if you sing to yourself before the speech, you can check your nerves. Pay attention to your volume and speed and see what needs adjusting.
- Ease in. It’s important to make yourself comfortable on stage before you jump all in. Maybe tell an anecdote or interact a little with your audience. You’ll loosen up soon enough.
At the end of the day, quality public speaking begins with quality speaking.
Conference presenter Jim Lukaszewski, APR, explained how becoming a trusted strategic advisor is partly dependent on that individual’s speaking ability. Next time you brief your boss or client on a critical issue or plan of action, try Lukaszewski’s three minute drill.
In essence, you have three minutes (approximately 450 words) to get your point across. If you’re not concise, strategic and well-spoken, you could mess up the opportunity. (Read more about this on the FPRA blog).
So you want to be a PR pro? You must be an effective communicator. Want to be an effective communicator? You must be a good great writer, listener AND speaker.
Whether delivering key messages at a press conference or trying to advise upper management on something, PR pros are going to be speaking. A lot.
I guess we all better practice!
This post is part of my new HAPPO series, where I address topics of relevance/concern to PR pros of all levels.