The desire to speak in front of an audience to build your business is a really good idea.

If you have done any speaking before, or are just starting out, it is important for you to realise that that there is more than one type of speech or presentation to an audience. You need to figure out which category you naturally all into and which type of speech suits your personality and you are prepared to do.

So, what are the different formats?

The first is probably the one that you will use the most. The Business Presentation.
In this type of speech your objective is to persuade. You want people to either buy your products from the back of the room after the speech or you want them to buy into the idea or service that you are putting forward. To ensure a successful business presentation you want to follow a logical sequence. The introduction, where you set up the scope of your speech. The body of the speech where you deliver benefit statements and perhaps provide a compelling argument in favour of your solution. Then the conculusion, where you will summarise your main points and then deliver a “call to action”. Simple but very effective if done well.

The Product Demonstration is the practical rather than theoretical version of the business presentation. Here you would illustrate and highlight your benefits by actually showing the features and benefits of your product. If you can design this sort of speech to include a tactile element, it is then possible to engage more than just “listening” and it can be extremely effective. It is a great way to show existing customers updated or new products and also in winning new clients.

If you are comfortable as a public speaker then often you will be asked to present a Lecture, Seminar or Training programme to a group. In this situation people expect lots of detailed information on a given topic. In some ways this format is slightly easier as you can digress and range through the topic, but it does require extra skills in facilitation. The longer the session you are delivering the more preparation you have to do in terms of ways to keep your audience engaged and focused.

The fourth type of speech you may be asked to do is the Keynote Speech. This is the hardest type of speech to present and professional speakers often make a living out of delivering one GREAT Keynote Speech, so that should five you some indication of just how good you need to be. For a keynote speech you generally have an hour or less and you will need to either entertain or inspire the people in your audience. You will need to present high content information and you can use stores, anecdotes, jokes, even prop’s or slides but they have to be purposefull and well thought out. Keynote speakers start strong, keep the interest high and end with a powerful closing statement. They plan and execute their speech for maximum effort and impact …… that is why they get paid so well.

So ……. What type of speaker should YOU be?

When you get asked to speak it is important that you know what sort of speech you are being asked to deliver so you know what to say “yes” to and which jobs to turn down. You may never want to deliver a keynote address – and that is OK – besides there are far more opportunities available for the other types of speeches.

If you do aspire to become a keynote speaker, remember that you need to grow into the role …. It comes with experience and above all practice.

Author's Bio: 

Adele Howell-Pryce is the current CEO of the ISPA (International Speaking Professionals Association). The ISPA is a platform for Subject Matter Experts and emerging professional speakers to create a professional profile and promote themselves as speakers. Visit for more information, tips and tools.