Before you present before an audience, there are several things that you can do to ensure that you have a successful speech or presentation. They are:
1. Be Knowledgeable about Your Subject Matter
When you present at a meeting or before an audience that is not the time to “wing it.” Be sure that you know your content inside and out so that you can appear competent and professional.
2. Know Your Audience
Before you present, conduct some research on your audience's demographics and their interests. If you are presenting at work that will be easier as you will know all or the majority of the people. If you are presenting before an unknown audience, attempt to do some research on the people who will be there in terms of their gender, age, interests, professions etc. This will assist you in crafting your speech to connect with the audience.
3. Have a Good Introduction
Many speakers ignore this important step before they present. It is essential that you have your host introduce you with a proper introduction that states your credentials. It does not have to be long. There should be sufficient information presented about you so that the audience can see why you are the credible authority to speak on that particular topic.
4. Know the Image that you Want to Convey
Before you present before an audience, it's important to know the image that you want to convey. The way that you look, especially in terms of your attire can act as a detraction from your message if it disconnects you from the audience. You want to convey an image that is consistent with your personal brand and in alignment with the core message you want to communicate.
5. Make Contact with Your Host in Advance
If you have been invited to speak to staff at a company or organization, conducting research on the demographics of your audience is a good idea. After you receive the invitation to speak at an event, contacting your host well in advance ensures that you know the expectations for the speaking engagement. Contacting the host in advance ensures that you can communicate your needs also such as for example, your audio-visual requirements ahead of time.
6. Know Your Practical Strategies for Success
Before your presentation, know what are some of the practical strategies that you can use to ensure a successful speech. For example, for the event where you will be speaking, will you have the directions printed out in advance so that you are not late? How many days in advance will your handouts be prepared, so you are not left scrambling at the last minute. Before your speech think of and make a list of practical things that you can do to ensure success.
7. Visualize Your Success
Learning to master your content before you present in front of an audience is a major component of being an effective speaker. While knowing your content is important, visualizing your success before you speak is also important. Too many speakers make themselves nervous by rehearsing scenarios where things don't go according to plan. Before you present, visualize yourself delivering a successful speech. Rehearse mentally the feeling of being confident and building rapport with the audience. See and hear the audience applauding your wonderful speech. Visualizing success can help you deliver an engaging and effective speech.
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