Public speaking (be it one-to-one or addressed to an audience) is an essential part of business networking. If you can master it, you’re automatically equipped for business success. So, in this blog post, we’ll be offering some tips and tricks to help improve your networking panache. Here’s how to speak so that people want to listen. 


Speaking & Networking


Whether you’re delivering a sales pitch, presenting at a conference or simply speaking one-on-one at a networking event, having a flair for public speaking will greatly improve your ability to attract clients, make good business connections and repeatedly close sales. 


In each of these scenarios, you’ll be speaking to colleagues, peers, investors, supervisors, etc. This means we have to be on point when it comes to both the content of your speech and the manner of its presentation. We want to sell ourselves as competent individuals and let this be a reflection of our business ventures. 


This boils down to the age-old question: How do you engage an audience? Is it through personal charisma? Hard-hitting facts? Storytelling? Rhetoric? Entertainment? The answer is undoubtedly a combination of all these things, but for now we’re going to focus on just two…


Engaging & Persuading


At the root of all good public speaking are two elements: engagement and persuasion. No matter the context, business networking always necessitates engaging and persuading people—be it prospective clients, suppliers, investors, etc. 


Engaging and persuading people are closely related. You have to engage an audience in order to persuade them. Likewise, if you’ve persuaded an audience then you’ve undoubtedly engaged them. 


There are many ways to engage and persuade an audience—from subtle devices such as bodily cues and gestures, to rhetorical techniques in order to channel certain emotions whilst speaking. Read on for some tips and tricks.


Young businessman speaking in conference


Speaking So That People Will Listen: Tips & Tricks



1. Preparation


Good public speaking always involves preparation. Start by writing down all the thoughts you have on the topic at hand. What you want to create is a web of interconnecting ideas, stories, problems and solutions that you can draw upon whilst speaking. This will give you an idea as to the structure and argument of your speech. By organising your thoughts beforehand, you’ll not only offset any feelings of stage fright, you’ll also be able to think things through off-the-cuff—like improv—which will make for a more engaging (and therefore persuasive) presentation. 


Creative professionals using sticky notes to prepare for public speaking


2. Personal Experience


Whether you’re networking to an individual or an audience, your goal is always the same: to convince people that your solutions not only work, but are better than the rest. So, when relating this to other people, always draw on personal experience. How have your solutions impacted you in a positive way? No one can tell your story better than you can. Plus, public speaking is always more authentic and educational when the speaker speaks from past experiences; it allows the audience to identify with you.


personal growth conceptual image


3. Be Informed


If you want to persuade people that you know what you’re talking about, you better really know what you’re talking about! As a public speaker, it is your obligation to be as informed as you possibly can be. This requires you to be learned when it comes to your industry as well as the wider world of business. Read articles, books, subscribe to newsletters, listen to podcasts, note down any useful anecdotes and stories that would relate well to what you’re saying. By doing so, you’ll ensure your presentation has a meaningful output.


Social Media Streaming. Video Sharing Content Creator Reviewing His New Production Before Uploading To His Channel. Men in Headphones Seating in Front of Laptop Computer.


4. Lessons from Rhetoric


The word ‘rhetoric’ gets a bad rep. Simply put, rhetoric is defined as ‘the art of persuasion’ through either speech or writing. Unlike writing, where the author is absent, speech always involves your own individual presence. Use this aspect to your advantage when attempting to connect with your audience. Speech is a powerful tool. In the past, it has galvanised nations, prompted radical changes in society and turned science fiction into science fact—so you’re sure as hell capable of selling a business venture through speaking!


Political campaign. Senior politician on stage, speaking into microphone during election campaign




There’s a big difference between speaking so that people have to listen and speaking so that people want to listen. Veterened public speakers didn’t become what they are overnight. Public speaking is a process of growth, but by the time you’re a seasoned speaker, you won’t need notes, prepared anecdotes, etc. You’ll simply get up there and speak. 


Nexus Networking


Here at Nexus Networking, we take managing and utilising business connections seriously. The benefits of professional networking are undeniable, and Nexus Networking makes every effort to ensure these benefits are had by all our members. 


Our weekly meetings take place across three separate groups based in Brentwood, Chelmsford, and Colchester, respectively. 

If you’re in need of a network, join us for a free meeting by clicking here and applying as a visitor through our website. Or, if you would like more information about Nexus, visit our website on, email any questions you may have to, or give us a call on 01206 588 000. We look forward to hearing from you!