15 Tips To Plan & Prepare For Public Speaking
Most get the jitters when asked to speak in public. However, as Lilly Walters author of Secrets of Successful Speakers says, 75% of fear can be reduced by practice and preparation, 15% by deep breathing, and 10% by mental preparation and focus.
Preparing thoroughly can alleviate unnecessary stress, give you renewed confidence and can ultimately provide a consistent structure for achieving extraordinary results.
- Plan ahead - If you use Power Point, create templates. The latest possible time to begin a presentation is when notified.
- Organize your presentation with a strong opening and closing. First and last impressions are remembered most.
- Customize for your audience - go to websites first. Then interview relevant people to find out where the "pain" is in relation to your product, service, or topic. Better questions equate to better value.
- When your content is ready, begin practicing aloud. Pay special attention to your beginning, key points, and ending. During this process, you will inevitably make revisions and improvements.
- After rehearsing aloud several times, record yourself on video if you can. Watch your practice session and make adjustments until you are comfortable with your content and delivery.
The day of your presentation:
- In the morning, do a good physical workout to give you energy and focus for the day.
- Do some self-massage and vocal warm ups in the shower. Massage the base of your tongue, the temporomandibular joint (just by your ears between your cheeks and jaw) and neck and shoulders. Make funny faces to exercise facial muscles, do your favorite tongue twisters, and sing an uplifting song.
- Before and during your presentation, drinks should be without carbonation and not too hot or too cold.
- Run through your presentation physically if you have the time.
- Arrive early. Set up well in advance. Test and double-check all equipment.
- Own the room imagining your energy fills the entire space extending to all walls and corners. State your intention aloud four times facing a different wall or direction each time. (i.e. “to win the business”)
- Close your eyes. In your mind’s eye, imagine a person, place, or thing that you love. If you are religious or spiritual, you may want to connect with your higher power. Allow six or more deep breaths. Breathe in love on the inhale and on the exhale, let go of any tension, anxiety, or stress.
- With your eyes still closed, mentally run through your presentation. Visualize success seeing your desired outcome.
- Play a fast piece of music you love, dance, or walk briskly around the presentation room to pump yourself up and burn excess adrenaline. If it’s not possible for you to do this, run in place or jump up and down for 20-30 seconds somewhere private. If neither is possible, do simple isometric exercises, tensing and releasing muscles while sitting or standing.
- Acknowledge yourself for the time and energy you have invested to do your best. Trust and BE yourself.