- Arrive a few minutes early so that you can stand at the podium, try out the microphone and get the feel of the room. While doing this, picture yourself giving an amazing presentation.
- Look in the mirror – front and back just before the event begins to make sure you are all put together. I know someone who went on stage before a large crowd with the bottom of her skirt tucked into her waistband. You can’t always count on people to let you know when your wardrobe is malfunctioning.
- Stand up straight and don’t hang onto the podium. You will look more confident.
- Remember to smile – it makes people more relaxed listening to you.
- Don’t read your presentation – rehearse your remarks until you feel comfortable speaking about the topic.
- Remember that next to hearing their own name, the word “you” is the most effective way to connect with audience members. See how many times you can fit the word “you” into your talk, to make your audience feel like you are speaking directly to them rather than at them.
- Breathe – when someone’s voice shakes while speaking it usually means they aren’t breathing correctly.
- Look your audience in the eye. Looking down or at the far back of the room gives the impression you aren’t really engaged.
- Don’t make a joke at the expense of anyone in the audience. People might laugh, but it’s really embarrassing for the target of the comment.
- And finally, don’t run over the time allotted for your talk. Have you ever heard anyone complain that a speech was too short? Leave your audience wanting more.
Most people dislike getting up in front a crowd and talking. Several executives I know who seem extremely confident have felt the need to go for coaching on presentation techniques before getting up to give a talk. Here are some tips that have helped me along the way:
Management Expert, Executive Coach, Columnist, Strategic Networker