As an Aside: The Art of Public Speaking in Front of Large Crowds

Managing director of Asia Capital, Catherine Shiang is an investment executive with more than 13 years of experience. Beyond her work with Hong Kong based Asia Capital, Catherine Shiang is an experienced public speaker, participating in panel discussions at finance and investment related events around the world on the issues relevant to single family offices.

As an aside, what she’s found is through participating at these events, the pleasure of connecting with interesting talent and most of all her peers. More importantly, as Bloomberg calls the family office sector “The $200 Trillion Gold Rush”, Catherine Shiang has enjoyed the opportunity to speak about how to work with this sector. Recently, at a small business student gathering, someone asked her about the art of public speaking.

Almost three-quarters of people in the United States, according to the National Institute of Health, have a fear of public speaking, talking in front of large groups is not only necessary but an effective means to communicate one’s ideas. This is a challenge to entrepreneurs raising start up capital need to learn to present at conferences, fund managers being show cased at events need to get up either on a panel or solo, convey why their fund is top tier. The more effective one is speaking in a variety of venues and platforms, the more effective one is at conveying one’s messaging. The first step to engaging with family offices is getting your message across. Second step is if offered a large platform or forum, use that effectively.

Some quick take aways:

1. Know your audience. Are these multi families, single families, principals or professionals. A little background of the makeup of your audience goes a long way to finding a common thread to effectively communicate your ideas. People often make the common mistake of speaking down to an audience. Instead, begin simply then dive into the complexities of your points. This way you are able to reach the broadest audience.

2. Work off of an outline: Keep it simple. The best is an outline on a sheet of paper that you might put trigger words next to keep yourself focused on the points you want to convey. If there’s something you want to emphasize, repeat it. Often people listening hear it passively once but actively the 3rd time. Don’t get caught up in your minutia.

3. Incorporate eye contact. Find focal points in the audience and look at each of these focal points. Even if there is glare from stage lights and you see nothing, by moving your head and focusing on these focal points you won’t look just like a talking head.

As Dr. Frazier Crane signs off “Good mental health” and have fun public speaking.