Three Steps Toward a Successful Speech

Last month, I had the honor to speak at the 2016 Silicon Valley Leadership Summit Conference in the Faculty Club of Stanford University, California. It was a privilege to speak at an event where Tim Campos (CIO of Facebook),  Jorge Titinger (CEO of Silicon Graphics International), and Laura Gomez (Founder & CEO of Atipica) participated. This summit consisted of hundreds of Hispanic leaders in the tech, finance, and VC industries. Respected investors such as Alberto Yepez (Managing Partner of Trident Capital) and Manny Fernandez (CEO of DreamFunded) were part of the judge panel.  It was the seventh anniversary of this event where I had the opportunity to pitch SmileyGo.

1. Start with a Thank You: Joy comes from a thankful character. There is nothing more beautiful than a thankful and grateful personality. That will make your speech start on the right track. At the Silicon Valley Leadership Summit I started with a thank you and the audience was more receptive and excited to listen to the pitch. To be precise, the beginning of my pitch was in Spanish: “Muchas gracias! Gracias a Dios por esta oportunidad.” Generosity generates more generosity. A few weeks ago, I had the privilege to keynote the San Jose Citywide Youth Conference, and the audience was highly welcoming. The audience wants you to succeed, not fail. Step up with a smile and be courageous.

2. Vary your Tone: You will obtain the same results when you try the same strategy. It’s time to vary it! Diversify. One reaps what one sows. There is a plethora of reasons why portfolio managers invest in different securities. In a similar manner, it’s good to diversify your oratory strategies. When you start your speech with energy you should later slow down and focus on the main topics. People will remember the beginning and the end of your speech. For instance, when I was speaking about the business model my tone switched to a more informative one. However, when I was pitching the inspirational part of how we started, my tone varied to a more enthusiastic and personable one.

3. Engage your Audience : A heartwarming eye to every single member of the audience will make them feel like the most important individual within it. Don’t grow weary of encouraging others. In addition, laugh. Laughter generates more laughter. It’s a virtuous circle. You should spend approximately 5 to 10 seconds with each person within the audience. Eye contact is vital. In addition, you should ask questions to your audience in order to grab their attention. For instance, during my pitch I asked who liked Peruvian food such as ceviche, lomo saltado, causa rellena, or anticuchos (most of the audience raised their hands). Engaging your audience in creative ways will make your speech unique. One should make each person in the room feel like he or she is the only individual in the stage while you are speaking. That will make them recollect your speech.

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