I just walked in the door from giving a presentation at a meeting of businesswomen. The group was friendly, easy to engage with and tons of fun. You could tell that happy hour would be a bit to handle as I had some class clowns at 8 am. I can only imagine what some adult bevies might do.
The Truth be Told…
Admittedly, I’ve been trying to master the art of public speaking for more years than I can to mention. Even with the great presentation trainers, from Sage Presence, it’s been a challenge. But today it worked. And not only that I had a terrific time. A TERRIFIC TIME!!!
Here’s my Advice
So what was the difference? There were a few things I did differently this time that I hadn’t done before. I’m gong to give you this list in hopes that it might help you with your speaking engagements. So here goes:
Get ahead of the schedule. Do your prep in advance. If you have everything ready to go, you’ll be much more in control.
Have a joke ready. I think everyone appreciates this. You get a big plus if the joke relates to the topic.
We can all find things we’re insecure about. How easy is that? I decided that the audience really doesn’t care about my hang-ups or insecurities. They want my expertise. If I focus on delivering my topic, I can’t be wrapped up in my insecurities.
Tell them stories. People love them and get the message behind the story immediately.
Ask them questions and get feedback. If people aren’t responding, call on them.
Be in the moment. Take the audience with you where you want to go. Be spontaneous and offer info to illustrate a point. Tossing out some up to the minute tips and tidbits gives you credibility and authority.
Movement is good. Standing at a podium is so 1990s.
Excitement works. Be dynamic, be bold and be fun.
Most importantly of all, be YOURSELF! At least give the audience a chance to make decisions about you by showing them the real you.
It Would Definitely be Amazing
I hope this helps. I’d love to be able to have one person tell me that reading this advice has made a difference in their ability to speak to groups. Having that knowledge would make me very happy.
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