CHAMPION STRATEGIES – PUBLIC SPEAKING WORKSHOP – APRIL1, 2021
Tips to Succeed at Your Next Event
4) Practice (But Really, Practice)
Are you already rolling your eyes and skimming past this section? I don’t blame you. But so often, public speakers are under-prepared. Maybe your assistant created your slides and you’ve just scrolled through them a few times. Or maybe you’ve rehearsed your presentation by yourself, but haven’t run it by anyone else.
Make sure you’re practicing your presentation in front of several groups of people. Present to coworkers or to someone who represents your target audience. Ask for honest, critical feedback on the good, the bad, and the ugly of your presentation.
It’s also smart to record yourself during one of your practice runs, so that you can review areas that need work.
5) Eat Well & Burn Cortisol
Eating a protein-packed snack before a public speaking engagement boosts your energy, focus, and mood. But what if there were a way to decrease stress too?
Well, there is. Cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone,” can interfere with your memory and limit your ability to process complex information. This can make it difficult to read your audience and react in the moment.
To decrease your cortisol levels, exercise one to three hours before you speak. You’ll feel less stressed and your audience will benefit from your focus.
6) Meet Audience Members First
It’s always a good idea to meet a few of your audience members before taking the stage.
This is a great way to calm pre-presentation jitters, not to mention network and recruit a few last-minute audience members into your meeting or session. Bonus points if you find a way to incorporate those conversations into your speech.
To illustrate, suppose you talked with Laura from XYZ Sales at the coffee bar this morning. If Laura shared that sales recruitment is a big roadblock to scaling their sales team, include this anecdote in your presentation, along with tips on how you would approach the situation.
7) Give Yourself Time to Acclimate
Many speakers begin talking immediately after being introduced or walking onstage. Instead, try approaching the stage in silence. This gives you time to gather your thoughts, take a deep breath, and get used to being in front of the audience.
It gives your audience the chance to get used to you as well. If they’re checking email or answering some last-minute texts, it provides a few buffer moments so they can wrap up. This pause also sets the tone for the rest of your speech, which should be evenly paced, effective, and purposeful.
8) Don’t Open with an Excuse
How many times have you heard a speaker start by saying, “Sorry, I didn’t have much time to prepare,” or “My flight was delayed last night, so I’m a little tired”?
Your audience doesn’t care. Announcing to them that you haven’t prepared or are tired from a long flight won’t change the way your presentation is received or remembered.
Don’t begin your presentation with an excuse. That makes the time about you, when it should be about your audience and how you can provide value to them.