OK, you’re ready…. it’s time.
There is no more research, practice, or memorization. You are just minutes away from walking to the stage… stepping up to the mic… standing before the board of directors… opening the class… there is nothing left to do but present.
This should be the easy part, aside from being cotton-mouthed nervous. Embrace it! Embrace the nerves… embrace the fact that you have an opportunity to influence a room (theater… auditorium… arena… whatever applies) of people with your words. A great honor, and a an even greater responsibility. But you are prepared… you are ready.
A couple of final thoughts as you give your presentation…
1) Don’t speak too fast. Let your cadence, the rhythm in which you speak, be fast enough to not bore the audience, yet slow enough that they can hear and understand everything you say. Measure your delivery…
2) Smile when you speak. Even when delivering less than stellar content, make sure your face is smiling. This puts the physical delivery mechanism of your mouth, larynx, etc, in the most favorable position for consistency over time. And it gives you a little better measure of authority: you are not afraid of your content.
3) Accept both positive and negative responses graciously. Thank them for their time, and for their kind words. This lets your audience know that you value their participation with you.
I am including a link to my friend Kinda Wilson’s Tips for Public Speaking. You should read, understand, and follow her tips. Kinda is a seasoned professional, and we would all do well to follow her tips.
Not every person is emotionally geared to be a successful public speaker; but every person can improve their public speaking skills by following these tips. And when you have mastered the emotions that often derail our public speaking experience, you may realize that, indeed, sharing your story with others is a pleasure and experience you’ll want to repeat again and again. Everyone has a story, and every story is important. Prepare to share yours!