Alyssa Danigelis of Inc.com imparts ten tips for giving an important speech, to help managers confidently step on stage in front of a large audience.
The author observes that those preparing for a big speech often hear the advice of "practise, practise, practise" and "less is more". Despite this, there are plenty of examples where the speaker has sent audience members to sleep.
So Danigelis counsels the opinion of experienced presenters to get some pointers on "rallying a large, influential audience of peers around a central idea".
1) Be your passionate self. Eben Bayer, chief executive of Ecovative Design, says: "Even if you're reading off the slide but you're really excited about it, the audience will give it to you."
2) Tell a helpful story. National Geographic explorer Elizabeth Lindsey says: "The more we talk about the things that matter to us, and less about our achievements, people breathe a collective sigh of relief."
3) Use few words than usual. "If you blast them with detail they get this mushy feeling in their heads," says Bayer.
4) Engage the audience early. Executive coach Nan Crawford says: "Don't wait for a Q&A at the end to go for audience participation. Start right away."
5) Make the stage home. "Get on the stage where the talk is scheduled and practise there as soon as possible," Crawford advises.
6) Go beyond your memory. "It's about knowing what you're doing [and] doing it for the right reason," says author Daniel Pink.
7) Use nervousness to its advantage. Crawford advises you to think, "That's the fire in my belly. When I'm done, everyone in this audience is going to have a fire in their belly."
8) Look with purpose. "Maintain eye contact for one full thought," says Crawford.
9) Think about your fellow speakers. Look at the roster and reach out to the speakers who excite you.
10) Choose your moment to inspire. "We have this opportunity to spark an idea," says Crawford. So "light fires in the minds of others".