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  • Janine - Own Your Style

Own the Room WITH confidence! How to prepare & Deliver YOUR Impactful Live talk or presentation

Stepping out of your comfort zone and speaking live at an event or on stage, becoming more fearless (my word of 2023) can be scary, but it can have such a positive impact on your personal brand. It will elevate your profile, help you stand out from the crowd and be seen as the unique and innovative person you really are. It will build your confidence and resilience and help you grow and develop an authentic and powerful personal brand.

On March 1st I had the privilege of being a keynote speaker live at The PA Show held at ExCel, London. Although I have spoken at many events in the past, this was a particularly special event for me, you see it's connected to Confex - one of the first events industry exhibitions I attended many years ago in my marketing career. So, to be a keynote speaker meant a lot to me both professionally and personally.

I loved presenting my workshop in the Personal Development theatre, I was super lucky as the audience were really engaged, which always makes it so much easier for the presenter! But what I really want to share with you is this. Before I speak on stage I'm always a little bit nervous! It pushes me out of my comfort zone on many levels. I want to be open about this as I still hear people say 'I don't get nervous' when actually they do, we all do. Everyone does and it's absolutely natural! When we do anything that is outside our normal, outside our comfort zone, we get nervous! But it's how we then use those nerves that count ...nerves are good!

There are many things I've learnt along the way, (and I'm still learning today) but the biggest lesson I've learnt over the years, in fact, one of the first in public speaking was ...

Fail to prepare - prepare to fail!

I can remember thinking at the time, wow that's a bit heavy! Until one day, I didn't prepare too well as I was in a hurry (this was 25 years ago!) and I stood up and froze! I never made that mistake again! Think about this, if you don't plan what you are going to say then how uncomfortable will you feel when you stand up and 'wing it'? How will you stay on track ... how will you speak with confidence, authority and credibility? If you're a seasoned professional speaker, you will probably have different presentations prepared. You will have delivered them many times, so you won't need to pre-prepare as much. But I don't mind betting you will have spent plenty of time preparing in the past and will have practised many times and now have a routine or ritual you perform before any speaking gig or performance! In the past, I have booked celebrity speakers for events who require a quiet room, and nobody to disturb them. Some want a complete rehearsal in advance. some don't, some love autocue, some never use it and some just turn up speak and go (because they do it day in and day out)... everyone has their 'own way' of getting in the zone and presenting!

Preparing to speak live in front of an audience (especially for the first time) can be nerve-wracking, but there are some steps you can take to help you feel confident, deliver an effective presentation and own the room.

Here are my tips for preparing to speak or present live in front of an audience:

Know your audience: Understand who your audience is, what they are expecting to hear from you, and what their interests and needs are. This can help you tailor your message and approach to engage effectively with your audience.

Practice your delivery: Practice, practice and practice (again) your speech out loud, either in front of a mirror or with a friend or a colleague. This can help you identify areas where you may need to improve your delivery, such as pacing or body language. Use cue cards if necessary - keep them small and please don't write out your whole speech (unless you are using auto-cue). You don't want to be looking down all the time! You want to engage with your audience and feel natural.

Prepare visual aids: If you plan to use visual aids like slides or videos, make sure they are clear, concise, and visually appealing. Avoid overloading your presentation with too many visuals, as this can be overwhelming and distract from your message.

Anticipate questions: Think about potential questions your audience may have and prepare answers beforehand. This can help you feel more confident and prepared during the Q&A portion of your presentation (if you have one)

Arrive early: Arrive at the venue early to get comfortable with the space and test your equipment if you can. This can help you avoid any technical issues or last-minute surprises that could derail your presentation. It also gives you time to get settled and mentally prepare for your presentation.

Dress appropriately: Dress in a way that is appropriate for the occasion and makes you feel confident and comfortable. Consider factors like the audience, venue, and topic of your presentation when selecting your outfit. Consider wearing colour in your outfit as it can impact how you feel and also how you are perceived by the audience.

Focus on your message: Remember that your presentation is about the message you want to give, not all about you. Keep your focus on the content of your speech and how you can best communicate this message to help your audience.

Use storytelling: Incorporate storytelling into your presentation to help engage your audience and make your message more memorable (we always remember stories people tell us more than facts). Use authentic anecdotes and examples to illustrate your points and help your audience connect with your message on a more personal level.

Use humour (sparingly): Humour can be a powerful tool for engaging your audience, but it's essential to use it sparingly and appropriately -so be careful! Avoid jokes that could offend or alienate members of your audience, and make sure your humour supports your message rather than distracting from it.

Take care of yourself: Priotise self-care in the days leading up to your presentation (this is a biggie). Get enough rest, eat well, and exercise to help reduce stress and increase your energy levels. This can help you feel more confident and focused on the day of your speech too.

Now go and Own The Room!

Finally, remember there are always lessons to be learnt and if you need to work with an expert to overcome your presenting/speaker fears - please don't struggle alone - reach out to one - I cover so much about getting visible, preparing, speaking and your body language too in my personal branding programmes.

However, if you want to become a confident public speaker to large audiences investing in training with an expert speaker coach is absolutely worth every single penny- I can recommend some great trainers for you just reach out and ask.

Want to talk to me about building your own stand out Personal Brand - just click here for a free 20 minute consultation


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