Arlington Chamber of Commerce Blog


Back to Basics: The Art of the Spoken Word

by Admin 13. June 2013 05:19

By Karen Bate, KB Concepts P.R., and Jeff Porro, Porro Associates LLC

It was a pleasure and privilege to participate in the Chamber’s recent event, Back to Basics: The Art of the Spoken Word, a panel discussion on how to engage your target audience – from clients and potential customers to large audiences and your own employees.

As members of the Chamber’s Communications Council, which organized the event, Jeff Porro provided his expertise on public speaking, while Karen Bate contributed tips on incorporating social media into speeches and presentations.

Fellow panelists Jan Fox, Emmy award-winning owner of Fox Talks, and Charles Greene III, the Presentation Magician, provided additional expert advice for 50+ attendees who enjoyed a delicious lunch generously catered by the Lebanese Taverna. Huge thanks to Ron Novak and Segue Technologies for providing the event space at the Navy League Building, and to Jan Day Gravel, Founder and Managing Director of Janus Development Group, for serving as moderator.

So what were the best takeaways? Here’s our list of the Top 12 Tips for Successful Public Speaking. We’ve listed these as short “tweetbites” for easy sharing – which as Tip # 4 says is something all good speeches should do! (And don't forget to tag the Chamber in your tweets: @ArlChamberVA.)

Top 12 Tips for Successful Public Speaking: 

1. A great speech starts with research. @porrojd

2. In presentations, 80% of success is knowing your audience. @charlesgreene3 

3. In public speaking, you probably don't need a major overhaul, just a few small tweaks. @JanFoxTalks

4.  Make your presentations social media friendly: use short tweet bites! @KBConceptsPR

5. The ability to use the spoken word effectively is valuable-it helps you grow your business and gain more clients. @porrojd

6. Focus on PRACTICE more than content: A speech should be like breathing. With practice you don't have to think-it just comes out. @charlesgreene3

7. Stand up straight! Even a little thing like changing your posture can improve your presentations. @JanFoxTalks

8. Incorporate video into presentations to mix things up, add energy, inject humor and give speaker a short break. @KBConceptsPR

9. As Lee Iacocca said, “A good speech, like a good novel, is constructed around conflict.” @porrojd

10. Let’s go to the tape! Watching a recording of your presentation is a great way to learn and get better. @charlesgreene3

11. Use your voice to draw people in by varying your tone, pauses and volume. @JanFoxTalks

12. Public speaking can be scary. Practice, practice, practice is the best way to overcome that fear. @charlesgreene3

Thanks to the careful stewardship of moderator Jan Day Gravel, the panelists managed to make these and many other points well within their allotted time, leaving plenty of time for questions and answers.

In the end, the panel itself best demonstrated the theme of the event: even in an age when new communication technologies seem to burst forth daily, one of the oldest ways to communicate, the spoken word, is more important than ever.

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Chamber | Professional Development


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