To be A-ready for Your #Speech:
1. Rehearse. Don’t get tired of it; it will save you a lot of embarrassment.
2. Perform some risk management: What if the mike/projector doesn’t work properly? What is if there are far more people than expected? What if there is traffic on your way there? In all cases, rule no. 1: Arrive at the venue early. Be prepared for trouble.
3. Check for spelling errors on your PPT or other. Make sure font is acceptable, and don’t use the bells and whistles approach. Keep it sober and professional. There is a formula that says 2 min for each slide, but it could vary widely, depending on the topic, your development of each point, etc. Also ensure that your hyperlinks work well. Text should be kept to a minimum, preferably bullets.
4. You’ve got about 30 seconds to make an impression. Be confident; be organized; be human. Try to start with an interesting hook that could be startling statistics, a bold question – but do not offend the audience-, or an amazing quote. Avoid clichés!
5. Try to involve the audience as often as you deem reasonable. Most adults want to participate. Your audience members want you to acknowledge them, as well as their knowledge, their experiences,and their points of view. Focus on your audience genuinely from the start. Be aware of your audience responsiveness or non-responsiveness, be it positive or negative. Adapt consequently. Ensure you make eye-contact with everyone, and focus on the members of audience who send positive vibes if you’re nervous. Be careful; it is easy to forget people on the sides.
6. Remain genuine. Bonding with the audience should not be an add-on. Your person should reflect authentic interest.
7. Do not move too much, especially when it is without purpose. Smile. It is contagious.
8. Remember that no-one can see that you’re nervous unless you show it. Breathe; oxygen helps your brain, and focus on your message, not on your nervousness.
9. Enjoy it!
10.Ask for feedback, and build on lessons learned through the entire process.
The author, Radhia Benalia, PMP is Deputy General Manager at CMCS , and a professional with proven track record in public speaking , and public speaking and soft skill training. As her skills spilled over other aspects of her life, she was nominated in 2009 as the candidate chosen to run for the party in office, British Columbia, Canada.