Ten Tips for Speakers 0

For a successful presentation, here are some quick things to keep in mind:

  1. Get there early enough so you can check out the room and change the set up if you don’t like it. (Don’t assume that your host has set up the room the way you asked!)
  2. ALWAYS do a microphone check. If possible, bring your own wireless lavelier microphone that you clip to your clothing so you can avoid being stuck at a lectern.
  3. TURN OFF your lavelier microphone before you go to the restroom!
  4. While there, check your outfit in the mirror, back as well as front. Check your teeth if you’ve just eaten.
  5. If you need to clear your throat, try to swallow or drink room-temperature water or cranberry juice rather than cough.
  6. NEVER read your talk word for word or memorize it. If you need to, keep a few notes so you know where to go next, but talk as naturally as you can — that’s what communicates best. One exception is when you’re giving prepared testimony before a congressional committee. But don’t read with a monotone!
  7. Always look people in the eyes when you talk. Don’t skim the tops of their heads or look at the back wall. Looking them in the eyes adds a lot to your communication level.
  8. If you have a Q&A session at the end, let them know how long it will be — either “I have time for three questions” or “I have five minutes for questions.”
  9. When you’re done with the Q&A session, REPEAT your closing statement — it’s the most important thing you want them to leave with.
  10. Enjoy yourself and love your audience! When you love them, they feel it and respond likewise. What you feel back from them gives you energy and the inspiration to really communicate.