So you have a speech to make. There are thousands of books and web sites you could peruse for ideas on how to prepare for and give a successful presentation. I’m not going to focus on that. I’m just going to give you my three simple strategies before I go on stage.
- Know the room. Become familiar with the setting — it’ll do wonders for your comfort level. Walk up to the podium and back down again. Test the microphone. Sit down where an audience member will be in order to see “you” from their perspective.
- Do a last-minute mirror check just before going up on stage. No poppy seeds in your front teeth. Check. Same shoes on your feet. Check. (And yes, I did that once — truly horrifying to walk on stage with two different colored, different heeled shoes!) No stains or stray strings on your clothes. Check. You don’t want anything to distract your audience from your actual presentation, and you want to feel confident in your appearance.
- Smile. I know; this is so obvious. But it really will lighten up your face, make you seem more approachable, and help you relax. Remember it when you’re speaking.