It’s not often that Reuters has a language warning at the start of their news stories – but then again, it’s not all that often that someone like Bob Geldof speaks out for the private-equity industry.
Reuters reported on Geldof’s speech at the SuperReturn conference in Berlin this week, where Bob spoke with gusto, for an hour, without using notes. He praised the virtues of the private equity industry but also did his best to promote investment in Africa, saying: “I have learned that private equity, contrary to the Romney-esque debate in the United States at the moment, can be a major vehicle for positive change in this world.”
While it was not a huge surprise to see Geldof at the conference – he is, after all, chairman of 8 Miles LLP, a fund which has raised $200 million to invest in Africa – it will always help raise the profile of a cause if you have a headline-grabbing star doing the talking.
But what can spokespeople and presenters learn from Bob’s approach?
1. Don’t rely too heavily on notes or a script
The danger is that you will be tempted to read from it, rather than interact with – and present to – your audience.
2. Be passionate
This may be easier said than done, but injecting some extra enthusiasm into your speech will up the tempo and help draw in your audience.
3. Use some captivating verbiage
We wouldn’t recommend littering your presentations with swearing (as Sir Bob has been known to do in the past), but using a few memorable “tricks” will help you seize your audience’s attention and linger in their minds.