23 March 2007 in Events, Mindscape | Comments disabled
Lately I’ve delivered a few presentations as you’ll likely know from my previous posts. I thought I’d write a few thoughts on what I’ve found while doing them. To set the scene for those who haven’t attended my recent talks, the audience size has been between about 150 to 500 people. Quite large by my standards, certainly the largest audiences I’ve spoken in front of.
A few things I’ve learnt from doing these presentations:
- The first words are the hardest, get them out and you’re fine.
- When you’re mic’ed up you don’t even notice it after about 3 seconds of speaking, I was a tad concerned about that.
- The intense nerves you get before speaking are actually good if you can turn them into energy when you speak.
- Check if you have a “nervous tick”, mine was saying “Good Times” which while amusing to most, I tried to ensure I didn’t say it too often after the first presentation.
- Make sure you have some water, a dry throat tends to hit you suddenly.
- Be ready for bright lights, often you can’t see the audience very well because of it (which can be a good thing if you’re nervous).
- Look around the room, even if you can’t make out the faces you should look like you’re talking to the people.
- Try to use pictures and less words on your slides, you’re less likely to read the slides to the audience and it’s more interesting to the crowd.
- Don’t name your last slide consistently as “Call to Action”, the audience learns and reads it as “Pack up” when it’s potentially the most important message of the presentation
- Many more things but I won’t go on
One thing I’d also suggest is that you find somebody who has done these types of talks before to work with when you first do them at this size. I was fortunate enough to doing them with Jeremy there as well who I’m pretty sure has done about a million big audience talks. He was really useful for being able to answer any questions I had and for making sure I didn’t let me imagination run away on me about how intimidating the audiences could be (I found the audiences great, I ended up feeling quite relaxed by the end of the presentations). So a big thanks to him.
Now I’m thirsty for some more presentations, that nervousness is like a drug