Public Speaking For the HR Pro: It’s About Thinking, Doing, Being

© frank peters - Fotolia.com
© frank peters - Fotolia.com

Editor’s note: The TLNT Radio Show is a weekly podcast where we talk to the top minds in HR and talent management. New episodes are posted here every week. Make sure you subscribe to TLNT and get our daily newsletter for the latest, or subscribe to our podcast in iTunes to automatically get updates.

I’m not a fan of public speaking. I can think of too many things I’d rather do than get in front of an anxious crowd looking for me to dance around and entertain them.

But even though I don’t like doing it, there’s a time and a place that I have to suck it up and do it. And if you’re an HR professional, you’ll probably have to do it too.

Speaking and communicating with confidence

On this week’s episode of TLNT Radio, I spoke with Eileen Sinett, author of Speaking That Connects and an expert in communicating and public speaking.

While you may not think of your job as involving much speaking, I can tell you that my job in HR was ripe with opportunities to speak. Whether it be a new hire orientation that I was running for 15 people, a meeting for five, or an all hands meeting for hundreds, the ability to communicate clearly in all of those situations is incredibly important.

But maybe most importantly, rather than just being a technically proficient speaker, you also have to consider how things like your confidence, the emotions of your audience or how relevant your message is plays a role in your success as a speaker.

Thinking, doing, and being

Sinett’s framework is simple: Thinking about your audience and your mission, doing the work and communicating with clarity, and finally, being in the present and understanding your own state of being.

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Simple doesn’t always mean it is easy to do, though. Using a more methodical method to put together even less formal (but equally important) public speaking opportunities take a shift in thinking that you must be ready to make.

In addition to talking about thinking, doing, and being in greater detail during the podcast, we also talked about:

  • How most people take speaking for granted. “We don’t get taught to speak the same way we do to read and write,” says Sinett. Even for folks for which speaking comes more naturally, we shouldn’t be afraid of practicing the craft the same way we would by regularly reading and writing.
  • Verbal white space is underrated. Seconds can feel like eternity when your behind a podium but a bit of silence can help calm you and give people some verbal buffer to help send a point home. Getting comfortable with pauses and air space is a trait of a strong speaker.
  • Audiences of any type connect with genuine people. This isn’t something you say, states Sinett. It’s a combination of thorough preparation, your body language, and being truly genuine with your audience. People can see right through disingenuous speakers and you won’t be able to connect with your audience.

While you may be as excited as I am about public speaking, you can know that with the right amount of thinking, doing and being, you’ll be able to better connect with your audience and be successful.

[buzzsprout episode=”39813″ player=”true”]

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