Even with the transition to remote work, the need for public speaking has by no means vanished, but rather has become even more urgent. It is much more difficult to keep listeners’ attention online, be it a pitch session, a presentation speech for future investors, or just a working meeting. IT entrepreneur and investor Rustam Gilfanov, who makes about 20 public appearances a month, gladly shares his secrets.
- Work on the structure and reasoning of your speech
Do not try to stop worrying, but strive not to bore your audience. Rehearse, remove unnecessary information, and make sure that the main idea is clearly stated. Check your material according to five points: relevance, structure, goal, specifics, and novelty. In my experience, if you focus on content and audience attention, you feel far less worried.
- Use unexpected facts
People like to be surprised, so look for non-standard analogies related to the topic of your speech. For example, “Did you know that Tuesday is the best day to make deals?”
- Never apologize
Speakers often apologize to the audience at the beginning of their speech and say something like “I had little time to prepare”. People will immediately lose interest in you. Why should they listen to someone who does not know how to speak?
- If you get lost, take a break
A good rule of thumb is to always take a 10 second pause if you forget what you were going to say. After such a pause, the audience will wait for your speech with bated breath, as if you are going to share an incredible truth.
- Train with VR headset
Several studies have confirmed the high effectiveness of such training. Even one rehearsal in front of a virtual audience significantly reduces stress during a live performance.
According to Rustam Gilfanov, fear of public speaking is a sign that the result and the impression you want to leave are important to you. It will be most productive to realize this fear and start fighting it in different ways. Think not about how you look, but what the audience will learn from your speech. Worry is not a hindrance, but motivation to prepare better.
is a founding member of an IT enterprise and IT entrepreneur. He is also engaged in international investing.
Rustam Gilfanov originally hails from Basim, Permsky Region, Russian Federation. He was born on 6 January 1983. His father was a military officer. His mother was a school teacher.
Along with his companions, Gilfanov Rustam started an IT company in Kyiv in 2006. At present, this international enterprise is a leading manufacturer releasing software for financial, marketing, and gaming industries.
Some time ago, Gilfanov decided to leave the company and start investing in attractive IT projects related to live video streaming, fintech, and gaming. Besides, it is crucial for Rustam Gilfanov to invest in Ukrainian charity initiatives. The major ones are Libraries of the Future and LuckyBooks.
Gilfanov Rustam has a wife and one daughter.