The Best Handful of Tips 3 – When delivering your speech
Having made presentations in 13 countries, some many times, I am now in a position to share many of my experiences and tips.
If you have prepared your speech well, you will be able to face your audience with confidence.
Decide to enjoy the challenge and be careful you do not spoil all your good work on the day by making errors.
Five of the best tips when delivering a speech
1. Check out the venue and the equipment you will be using
Make sure you know the positions of the electrical switches and see your devices are compatible. Check the blackout facilities and the screen position.
The essential rule for a presentation is all your audience must be able to see and read your visual aids and all must be able to hear you. Some people may have vision problems and some may be partly deaf, that’s why an indication of age of your audience can be helpful.
2. Brief the chairperson
Supply the chairperson with some brief written notes to indicate the way you would like to be introduced. This should ensure your background details are accurate and the audience know why you have been invited to speak on the topic.
A good chairperson can set the scene for you.
Print off two copies. Give one to the chairperson in advance and the other copy on the day you speak.
Tell the audience if you will be answering questions and how much time will be available and if you will be giving out a handout at the finish.
3. Dress for the occasion
Your clothes should be comfortable and suitable for the occasion. It’s better to be overdressed than dressed too casually. In Asian countries they expect you to be smartly dressed.
4. Compose yourself at the start
Don’t be in a hurry to start. Adjust the microphone and the lectern if necessary.
Address the chairperson and any distinguished guests.
Begin with a strong well-prepared introduction to raise the interest level of your audience and to get them used to your voice. A story or an anecdote is a good way to get attention at the beginning.
If you are working in a foreign country check the stories you plan to tell are acceptable.
5. Watch your timing
Timing is critical for most meetings. Take care not to steal the next speakers time.
Aim to finish with a summary and a strong memorable conclusion. Don’t run out of time so you are forced to finish with a whimper.
Allow plenty of time for questions as they can often reveal ideas and information you may have forgotten to tell your audience.
“It’s not how long you talk that matters but what you say.”