How do I handle public speaking?
Tracey-Anne, from Glasgow, UK, kindly tells me that I have been her business inspiration and that she has worked her way up from her receptionist position to a new management role, which will involve delivering talks and presentations to large groups, something that she dreads.
Here are my top tips on public speaking:
- Be yourself. There's no need to copy anyone else’s style. Your audience will connect with you if you are authentic, not perfectly polished. Let your personality come through.
- Nerves are normal. Even very experienced presenters still feel nervous, try to turn this to your advantage. Your audience won't notice.
- Know Your Audience. How many people, what are the other talks covering, what format is the event in? This will help you to hone your key take home points and content to match the event.
- Tell a story - I always bring in a some of my own personal experiences, so that my talks are unique. You can also use your humour, starting off on a light note is always good.
- Be organised - plan your talk in advance and ask what technology, room and platforms will be used so that you are ready.
- Practice, particularly if you are nervous. Practice until it feels natural and ask family and friend to give you feedback.