How to keep your audience in their seats

Political speechwriter Phil Collins advises meetings professionals on how to improve presentation skills

Employers should be doing more to help workers develop confidence in public speaking, according to new research from conference and events specialists, QHotels.
QHotels commissioned a YouGov survey to study the attitudes of UK conference and events professionals towards public speaking. The survey found that a fifth of those required to give presentations in the workplace lack confidence.
The research also showed that of those who were not required to give presentations in the workplace, 65% lacked confidence in their public speaking skills.
Following the research, QHotels collaborated with a speech writer to former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Phil Collins, to offer advice to conference and event professionals about how they could improve their skills.
Collins examined successful speeches, given by Steve Jobs, J.K Rowling, Emma Watson, Seth Godin and Sir Ken Robinson and suggested there are were main elements to the perfect speech: memorable phrases and images, a strong argument, confident delivery and a sense of personality.
“The main argument is where you have to start. When speeches fail to capture the imagination of the audience it is almost always because it is not crystal clear what the speaker is trying to say,” said Collins.
“A good script, read out loud, is better than a bad script, but it does not make a speech. That demands some individual magic. It is worth looking at how these speakers bring themselves to the podium. It is, of all the skills, perhaps the hardest.”
Claire Rowland, director of marketing at QHotels said: “Our research has brought to light the need for businesses to help boost their employees’ public speaking and presentation skills. These softer skills are often overlooked in the workplace, but are actually vital in career development. Not only does having more confidence in speaking help get your message across more effectively, it allows you to demonstrate your knowledge in a subject area and improve leadership skills.

‘Science of the Perfect Pitch’, is a resource, created by QHotels.

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Conference News hosts great guests on its pages. Our Blog section is the collection of the best opinions in the UK and international events industry.

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