When speaking in public – the first 60-Seconds matter.
In 60-seconds, probably less, people have judged whether you are worth listening to or they have reached for their phones. The good news is that if you know this, you can plan for fame and avoid failure.
Turn on your speakers or put in your headphones and watch this video:
As you watch this video, which is 60-seconds including the welcome from the MC, did you see…
- The confident walk to stage
- Acknowledging the MC
- Energetic Greeting
- Establishing a connection
- Credibility building
- Validation of the audience
- Inviting the audience to engage
- Validation of responsiveness
- Human / Cultural connection
- Self-effacing humor
All of these things build Executive Presence, and they are just as applicable in presenting in a board room, giving a client briefing or speaking on a stage.
The alternative to these strategies is failure to engage your audience, establish your credibility and therefore losing our on selling yourself, your ideas or your products & services.
Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance
The Performance you just saw me give in the video was planned and visualized. Because,
Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.
Firstly, I received a brief from the client, the wanted me to talk about reinventing learning, and so I set about thinking about what my experience and insights were, as well as researching the current thinking. I captured my thoughts on a PowerPoint deck and started to arrange the flow and add images.
Secondly I began to think about my audience, what were their pain points, how could I build empathy, what strategies would they need, what would inspire them to take action?
Then I began to practice, the flow. Will the ideas make sense when spoken? During this process, anything too abstract, jarring or distracting is deleted from the presentation because, “less is more”.
The day of the presentation, I get to the venue early, check that my slides are loaded and present clearly in the room. I do a sound check and make sure I’m comfortable with the stage and the PowerPoint clicker. I make sure I shake hands with the AV Crew and introduce myself to the MC and let them know to keep my intro short, as you want to build your own credibility, not have the audience bored with your credentials.
Final steps, personal grooming. I make sure I look the part and then I practice breathing to make sure I’m calm, my voice projects, I’m hydrated and my tongue and jaw are stretched and ready for action.
Now, it’s all about the audience, so time to let go of any baggage and focus on where they are at and what will they need. If I get a chance, I will meet a few of them and ask them how they are doing and what they want to get out of the day. Then it’s SHOWTIME!
Executive Presence is defined as the ability to project confidence, gravitas and poise under pressure, and there is no great pressure than public speaking.
I have been a professional speaker for 20-years and have had rock-star moments and have also wanted to crawl under a rock. Is it worth it? Absolutely, because being able to speak with confidence, is the #1 factor that will advance your career. Follow these steps and I guarantee you will improve. In addition, I have a FREE WEBINAR that has some further secret strategies – Check it out.