Taking a part in presentations and public appearances are one of our manager’s privileges. Yes, I think this is a privilege. Not a necessity. I think there are not many possibilities when you can build your personal brand. Standing in a front of bigger group than usually can verify your confidence and ability to manage the stress. That gives you also an opportunity to make new contacts with people who are interested in the same topics.
At this time let me present my extremely short checklist for public appearances.
1. Prepare a good presentation.
Sometimes I think that from the presentation everything begins. When you have a topic of your speech you know how to lead it. First, take care of content-related knowledge. I think it is good seen to support a presentation with numbers, research, statistics. You can recommend also websites, books, blogs, authors – everything where are more information. If the first step is done you can check the time. Time has very high priority. Usually, there is an assigned short block for you. So, just take a stopwatch and start talking. Do you feel stressed with public appearances? Stand in the front of a mirror or ask your friends to be your audience. Practice!
2. Check if everything works.
I mean devices. Double check if they are ready for your presentation. Only once it has happened to me. The biggest nightmare – computer in the conference room couldn’t read my files! Since then I always know what computer will be used and in which format I have to save my presentation. I try also to be few minutes before presentation time and check if everything works.
3. Get ready, set, go!
Devices – checked. Glass of water is next to you – checked. You are ready! Go with the presentation. Remember to speak with following rules:
– even if you are extremely stressed – smile!
– find your speech style – standing in one place, moving your hands, finding few people in the room to eye to eye contact – all is up to you
– prepare your speech language for the group – are they scientist, specialist, managers or kids?
– change speaking pace
– modulate voice during the speech (loud, quiet)
– be sure of your clarity and diction. Do people understand you with our doubts?
– speak as you would write down all sentences. Remember about commas and full stops
– completely forget about ’words without worth’ – they sound like ’yyy’, ’aaa’, ’eee’
– use many adjectives, adverbs, nouns and verbs – make your speech reach!
– joke or anecdote? Believe me, people are waiting for it!
4. Almost finish – ask for feedback.
After presenting all content is worth to invite people to a discussion. It might be so that people can ask you questions. But sometimes they will not. And it is time for you. You should always have something prepared. You can be also a moderator of the discussion. Remember to ask also for a feedback. You can do it in a few ways. You can ask people to fill in a questionnaire or leaving a few words. You can ask them also for the email address. After all, they can receive not only an invitation to a questionnaire but also a link to the place where the presentation will be placed and shared.
5. Inform the world about your feedback.
Share your feedback on your social media profiles. Yes! I am sure you have also your own thoughts. Why not share your impressions? You can also post a picture from the meeting or a link to the presentation. You can thank people. This is one of the factors that can have an influence on creating your personal brand.
About public appearances, I could talk without an end. Mainly because of people who I meet there. For me, it means they are interested in my subjects. Usually, they are also active in a discussion after all. This is also time for those who are too shy to ask questions in a public place and prefer eye to eye contact. This is time for a networking. This is time to raise your confidence and build a stronger impression of being an excellent manager.