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Are You Connecting Instantly on Stage?
Have you noticed that when you take to the stage, it can take time to get warmed up?
And for your audience to get warmed up to you? There’s a simple reason for this. It’s because you have left it too late! As a speaker, what you don’t want to do is be on stage ‘cold’.
If your audience has never heard of you before nor seen your work, it is going to take a brilliant presentation to get them really comfortable with you. And that’s certainly possible! In addition, you can take steps to get warmed up to your audience; before you are on stage. So, they are really looking forward to seeing you.
How can you get warmed up and have them ready for you? Allow me to reveal the 5 secrets to ‘Power Preparation’:
Secret 1 – Analyse your audience.
Find out whatever you can about your audience:
- Who are they?
- What are their interests?
- What do they have in common?
Start delving deeply to see what you can find. Ask the organiser what is happening with them and whether there are big changes in their industry or company. The more you can find out about what they are going through, the better you will understand their pain and be able to help them with it. Show you care. About their interests. Their pain points.
Secret 2 – Verify your venue.
Check out the venue beforehand. Explore the speaking space and be familiar with its spatial orientations. Is it what you were expecting? Does the setup facilitate good connections with your audience? Do you need to make any changes?
Hey, let’s be real. It’s not always possible to check it out beforehand. It may be overseas, interstate or simply not available to view. In this case, find out what you can and go with that. Bear in mind too, that venues don’t always look the same as the glossy website photos. Some projection can dull your slides. Always arrive early on the day of your presentation.
Secret 3 – Test your tech.
Ok, we all know this happens; the technology fail.
The best advice here is to think ahead. Have a plan B. This includes for your slides. For example, you may have no computer access to your slides, but if you have a handout for the audience, you can use it as your visual aid to walk them through it. Make sure the handout has your branding on it and how to contact you. Be adaptable.
Secret 4 – Engage early.
Find a way to ask a question of your audience and/or introduce yourself and your story beforehand. There are many ways to do this. Social media interaction is a great one. There are many LinkedIn and Facebook Groups that your audience may be hanging out in.
You could run a survey and offer up a prize at your presentation, which creates some anticipation and excitement at the event. Be curious and ask, ask, ask.
Secret 5 – Be present (to have a presence).
Arriving early will help you with all of the other points raised. It will also help you with being there for your audience. The best thing you can do is to arrive early, do your setup and then do this one thing … Be present.
Be there for your audience, mingle, shake hands (personal touch) and get to know them. Even run a quick poll, e.g., what’s your biggest pain point right now? Whatever happens, always stay gracious and don’t be precious or freak out when things go wrong; because they do!
Follow these 5 Secrets of a ‘Powerful Preparation’ and all will be good.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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