Every time you open your mouth it is public speaking. Remember that when you begin to prepare for any sort of “talk”. Your public persona, or brand as we are calling it these days, is directly connected to how you communicate.
A good measure of my coaching time is spent in helping my clients up level their sophistication and confidence when it comes to speaking whether a formal presentation to the BOD/Stockholders or the monthly financial report with team members.
Most of the time, when I ask how people they “feel” about having to present, they tell me they are unusually nervous or terrified. When you get into the meat of why they feel that way, it is always quite personal like:
- I will die
- I will not remember anything and go blank
- My hands, knees, papers, body will shake
- My voice will squeak
- My intestines will decide to erupt
- Sweat will pour out of my body
- Nothing I say will be interesting or of use to the people listening
- I will be boring
- They will laugh at me
Let me remind you that the actors on SNL would give anything to have their audience laugh at them.
Let me share with you how I get ready for a presentation and you can glean the details of how to prepare for you from these preparations. The example I am providing is getting ready to speak to a small Kiwanis group in TN last week.
Questions I Asked To Get Ready (usually to the person who asked me to present):
- Anyone in the last two years present on the topic I was going to present on? If so, what was the response, what was not covered, what could have been improved?
- Where would I be presenting – what position in the room?
- How many people would be in attendance? Let’s me know how many handouts to bring – and business cards.
- Would I be speaking while the attendees eat?
- What are the logistics and the flow of the room? Meaning, where are the tables and chairs positioned?
- What will be happening before I spoke?
- Who will introduce me?
- Are you feeding me lunch? MY FAVORITE
- What time will my sponsor arrive?
- What did most speakers use while they were presenting? PowerPoint, lectern, table, free form?
- What from position of the meeting room did the servers come through; did they order from the menu or was it a buffet etc.?
- What was the “dress” for the meeting? Suits, dresses, polo shirts, shorts, business casual?
- Would they like to raffle one of my books?
(NOTE: If I am speaking for 100+ people I ask for pictures of the room or if it is in town, I go visit the location. If you are speaking for a conference, the events people will be able to easily give you pictures or tell you the history of the room set-up.)
You get the idea. The logistics cannot be an issue. Make sure you know where you will be during the entire time you are presenting.
“Natalie, why go through all of these details?”
The more you know about the logistics the more comfortable you can be about what you need and want to say.
You will not have to worry about anything other than the content you want to present.
Content is easy. Decide the information you want to present; the outcome you want the audience to have and then write it up and practice.
The less you worry about you and the more you are concerned with the quality of the information delivered, the less you will be nervous about presenting.
I make sure I have my notes with me, get there early (even if it is a staff meeting) and then take some deep breaths. The logistics are all decided, you know your content and the audience were certainly appreciate what you have planned to share with them.
I can easily help you get ready for a presentation. Remember, confidence is a lovely feeling.
To your success,
P.S. Sign up for the Wednesday, July 20th FREE monthly live call with ME. The July topic is “getting you back on track” which could be goals, weight loss, time management, branding, or getting done what is on your list. When you sign up for the monthly Wednesday call, you can also submit your questions. We will record the call, but you need to sign up so we know where to send the recording. Looking forward to you being on the monthly call. Click here to register.
P.P.S. Want immediate help with your confident communication…every time! My CONFIDENT series is just for you starting with “Confident Business Communication Etiquette“. It contains all the tips, techniques and strategies you need right now to communicate easily and effectively, faster than you ever thought possible. Click here.