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How I Spoke In Public and lived to tell the tale…

by thiryj

How I Spoke In Public and lived to tell the tale…

So you’ve been asked to give a presentation to your (insert your social/professional organization name here)! Flattering – absolutely.Terrifying – undeniably!

At this point most people agree that there are three valid options:

1. Purchase a one way ticket to Jakarta – when you go to ground there, you’re off the grid for sure…
2. Hire/bribe/blackmail a friend to give the speech
3. Actually go through with it

If you picked #1, get your shots and pack light. If you picked #3 – it is time to get serious. Here’s how:

Have a Point
It also helps if your point is relevant, interesting and timely to the audience. Spend some time thinking about what you can deliver that will make the majority of your listeners believe their time was better spent at your presentation than on the receiving end of a root canal (no offense to the endodontists in the group)
9 out of 10 audience members agree that it is much more enjoyable to listen to a presenter that has prepared and knows what she is going to say. Diagram your speech – use outline note style, don’t write it out word for word (reading a speech is illegal in some states). Practice it until you can run through your major points without hesitation. Some people use note cards to remind them of their major points and clutch them like Linus does his blankie; don’t be one of these people.
Plan and Prepare
Scout out the venue ahead of time. Where will you stand? Where will your media projector be? Is there a podium? Is a microphone required? Lapel or hand-held? Some of the many great questions you don’t want to ask 10 minutes before your speech.
Bring a backup to your slide deck. Ignore this advice at your peril. Reference the 50-50-90 rule which states, there is a 50-50 chance that your computer will work with the venue A/V, and 90% of the time it won’t. Just go with me on this one. Plug your backup USB stick in the venue laptop and smile like you’ve done this before.
Use Humor
Breaking the ice – good. Offending people – bad. Don’t be bad.

When you use this method, you will be prepared. And if it is the first time you’ve spoken in front of people, you will be nervous. There are no remedies for this without a prescription. The good news is, however, that it does actually get easier. So challenge yourself to go out and give some presentations – before you know it, people will be thinking, “I wish I was as comfortable in front of an audience as that guy!” Be that guy.