Originally posted on Sept 3, 2013
Asking people if they “get nervous” when they have to stand up and speak is almost not worth asking. For most of us, the answer is a resounding “yes.”
As we all come back from summer holidays and get straight back into the post-Labor Day sprint, many of you will have important meetings, conference calls, or presentations on your calendar. Some of those communication opportunities will be mission critical to your success. So how do you take a step forward and prepare yourself to succeed?
Let’s answer that by hitting on a few simple, recurring themes here at The Latimer Group:
1. Set some goals for the session or the presentation. What do you want people to do when they leave the room? Figure out what you are trying to achieve.
2. Figure out who is in the room, and anticipate their questions, concerns, issues or objections. Know your audience.
3. Outline your message plan. What are the key points? What do you need people to remember?
4. Figure out the story first, before you design any slides or visuals or handouts. The slides are the visual representation of the story you choose to tell. So choose your story, then design your slides.
5. Practice. Don’t just stare at your notes or your slides in silence. Speak out loud. Practice what you want to say, especially the first few minutes of your presentation.
You want your confidence to increase? It doesn’t happen naturally. And contrary to popular opinion, speaking in public well is not an entirely natural gift. The best speakers I know work at it the hardest, just like any other skill.
That’s enough for today. Let’s all get to work!