Put yourself in the audience’s seat 0

Have you ever gotten up in front of a group, knowing full well what you want to say, but realizing you don’t know how to “present” your material? It’s just going to be the same old you — with your same old twitches, uhms, and sweaty palms? Not good, right?

Here’s a way to get around that: first of all, if you have a chance ahead of time, go to the room where you’ll be talking and sit in a seat in the audience. Get a sense of what a speaker looks like in front of the crowd. Imagine what you, as an audience member, are expecting from that speaker. How does the speaker act? What tone of voice does he or she use? What do you, as an audience member, want to feel about the professionalism of the speaker up front? If you aren’t able to actually sit in the seat ahead of time, imagine doing the same thing.

Now, when you get up to do your presentation, think about that imaginary speaker you saw from the floor — and be that person! Think about what your audience expects — why are they there? What do they expect to get from this presentation?

If you think totally about your audience’s needs and expectations, you won’t have time to think about being nervous or unprofessional. Take the focus off you and on to them, and you’ll have them wanting you back!