Sylvan Franchise Blog

5 Tricks to be a Better Public Speaker to Represent Your Franchise

Posted by Susan Gunelius on Jan 22, 2015


As a franchise owner, you have to present your business and products to people all the time. Whether you’re delivering presentations to clients and business partners or you’re speaking at an industry or community event, if your public speaking skills are poor, your audience won’t remember you or your franchise for the right reasons.

Your goal in every presentation is to motivate people. Yes, your content should be motivating, but you have to be motivating, too. When it comes to public speaking, delivery matters—a lot!

To help you be a better public speaker who can represent your franchise in the best possible ways, use these five tricks:You can start honing your public speaking skills by joining an organization like Toastmasters. The better you get, the more opportunities you’ll get to speak about topics related to your franchise to wider audiences. Public speaking can bring significant publicity and word-of-mouth marketing to your franchise.

1. Find Your Focus and Stick with It.

Don’t over-deliver. Your presentation should focus on a few key points and stick with them from start to finish. If you give too much information, your audience will get confused. They’ll forget the most important points because there is simply too much information to digest.

2. Follow Presentation Design Best Practices.

Slide design matters, but few public speakers know what the PowerPoint best practices are for presentations. Consider following Guy Kawasaki’s timeless 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint which says your presentations should be no more than 10 slides, last no more than 20 minutes, and use a font size that is no smaller than 30-points.

Of course, you can’t always follow this rule exactly, but use it as a tool to balance your own presentations. If you need to speak for an hour, multiply the number of slides and the amount of time by three to get 30 slides and 60 minutes. Note that the 30-point font rule doesn’t change.

3. Be Active.

Use active language in your speeches to get people motivated. A passive presentation which simply suggests that the audience maybe might want to possibly try to do something is far less powerful than a presentation that tells them to get up and do a specific thing right now.

4. Give Specific Next Steps.

Don’t let your audience leave your presentation with any questions in their minds about what they should do next based on the information you provided. Instead, give them very clear takeaways that they can implement immediately.

5. Practice!

The most important and often skipped part of being a great public speaker is practice. Steve Jobs is remembered as one of the best public speakers, and he was known to relentlessly practice his presentations. Take a lesson from actors. There is a reason why they practice their lines, block scenes, and fully prepare before the cameras roll. They know that the best performance happens after a lot of practice.

While you might think that practice will remove the spontaneity from your presentation, the reality is exactly the opposite. Practicing your speech enables you to feel so comfortable with the material that spontaneity is actually easier and more natural. 

Remember, most people aren’t born to be public speakers. However, you can become a great public speaker and grow your franchise at the same time! Just follow these five tricks to get started.

Topics: Franchisee Resources, Entrepreneur Insight