Has Anyone Ever Given You This Advice?

public-speaking-dagumWe’ve all heard the advice, “Just picture everyone in the audience naked!”

I’ll just tell you now–this probably won’t work. Oh, you can look out at the audience and imagine them without clothes on, but then…you’re thinking about your audience with no clothes on. You’re not thinking about your presentation. (Unless you are planning to talk about how all of those people are naked, in which case, carry on! That should be an interesting PowerPoint.)

“But what will work?” you ask. Here’s the cheat sheet:

  1. Know why you’re talking. What’s your goal? What’s your intention?
  2. Make sure your body and your voice and your content are all telling the same story. If you’re talking about how pleased you are to be there, your energy needs to be up, your voice energetic, and everything about you should be saying “There’s no place I’d rather be.”
  3. Practice. Stand up and say the words out loud. A bunch.

“But it’s faster to imagine everyone naked! I don’t have time to do all this homework.”

You’re right; it’s faster not to do the homework. But let me ask you this: what happens after you imagine everyone in their birthday suits? You still have to start talking. You still have to do the number one most important thing, which is connect with your audience. So let them keep their clothes on, and take some time before your presentation to really prepare. Everybody will be happier.

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