Tuesday Tip-Off: Pre-Talk Tips so Your Audience Loves You

The big day is here. You’ve spent endless hours crafting your story, creating compelling visuals and practicing your delivery. (At least that’s how you SHOULD do it!) Now it’s “go-time.” Not quite. Pardon the sports analogy, but before you leave the locker room and take the field, use these five tips to prep for a winning performance.

  1. Be Familiar, Not Frantic: Tour the room, preferably the day before. Walk the stage and visualize your audience. Make sure the equipment works, find a spot for your notes, and rehearse your opening. Feeling comfortable in your environment boosts confidence.
  2. Focus on Your Audience: Prepare brief notes with the names of audience members to recognize during the talk. Anticipate questions that may be asked and jot down answers.
  3. Give Yourself a BIG Buildup: Hand the host a brief, persuasive introduction that highlights your accomplishments. Consider adding something personal, such as a unique hobby, interest or achievement. Skip the dull academic details; you want the audience to be excited that they are in your presence! If there is no host, pre-select someone from the audience to do the honors.
  4. Connect, Don’t Contemplate: Instead of isolating yourself, greet early arrivals. Mingle, ask questions, and create a friendly atmosphere. This not only calms your nerves but also helps you understand your audience’s needs. Listen for stories that you can add to your talk.
  5. Breathe, Believe, Conquer: Take 5 deep breaths, filling your lungs and calming your mind. Visualize yourself delivering a flawless presentation, radiating confidence and enthusiasm. Remind yourself of your expertise and the value you bring – the audience came to see YOU.

Bonus Tips: Make sure there are water and tissues on stage. Put a little Vaseline on your lips, teeth and gums to counter nerves-induced dryness.

These are just a few of the hacks I cover in my presentation coaching programs. I use them myself, and I can tell you they work.

Want your audiences to love you and your talks? Message me to book a workshop for you and your team.

Disclaimer: Google’s Gemini AI app helped me create this Tip-Off.