6 Tips for Public Speaking When You're a Blog Conference Panelist
So, maybe you are going to be a speaker at BlogHer 2014 in a few weeks, or maybe you're going to be speaking at a different blog conference. It may be your first time speaking before a large crowd, or it may be your 100th time. Regardless of your level of experience, there are a few things that I’ve learned along that way that will help you put your best foot forward. I’ve come up with a list of six tips that I use every time I speak in public – something I’ve been doing since I was President of the Student Government in middle school. I am comfortable in front of a room or a large audience; here are the things that I’ve learned over the years.
Embrace Your Nerves
Everyone is nervous before speaking. This is a perfectly natural and actually can help you with your presentation. By accepting that this is going to happen, you can be mentally prepared. Take a few deep breaths before speaking, survey the room, pause and then go.
Prepare an Outline
Prepare an outline of your key points. I DO NOT suggest that you memorize a speech or even have a speech, for that matter. One of the keys to a successful presentation is connecting with your audience. That is difficult to do if you are looking down at a piece of paper.
Practice! Practice! Practice! I can’t emphasize this one enough because it is the key for a successful presentation. The more familiar you are with the material you are going to cover, the more at ease you are going to be.
Make Eye Contact
While you are speaking, survey your audience. While it will be impossible to make eye contact with everyone, pick out a few people and talk directly to them as if you were talking to a friend. As a matter of fact, you can place key individuals in the audience to look at just for this purpose. Again, this helps engage your audience which is important.
Leave Time for Questions
One of the things that is unique about presentations at BlogHer is the audience participation. Rather than simply providing information and talking at your audience, leave ample time for questions so that they can be engaged. Although you may feel you’ve covered every single point thoroughly, inevitably people will want clarification or ask a question about something you haven’t considered. Give them the opportunity to do so.
I think this is the most important aspect of being a speaker. You have been chosen because you are expert on your topic of discussion and have important information to share. Remember this always and be sure to enjoy the time you have in front of a roomful of people who want to learn from you.
You can find Renee blogging about health, fitness and parenting at Cutie Booty Cakes