Conference organizers and presentation instructions can be confusing. The best guide to how you match who is in the audience, to what you know and care about, is the attendee list. Let it be your lodestar.
Your actual words don’t matter nearly as much as your intentions and ideas – and what you have decided to do to your audience. If you follow the engage, inform and call to action formula, you can’t go far wrong.
Presenting is physical. Your face, knees and hands are much less likely to twitch and shake if you’ve warmed up physically beforehand and not had 7 double shot espressos…
Self-consciousness and loud comments from your inner critic can be drowned out by a very clear instruction to yourself ‘You are here to help/reassure/explain/ lead/inspire’ Choose 2 or 3 intentions and just do ’em!
Keep breathing. Consciously and slowly blow out your breath a few times to steady before you start to speak. No presentation is worth asphyxiating yourself for.
If panic strikes, slow down your actions and deliberately focus on what you are doing in the present. ‘I am looking at the audience’ ‘I am pausing before answering the question’ ‘I am adopting a kind and parental tone to this total jerk’…
Note what worked well and what might have been done differently and more effectively.
Give self mental note to do more of the stuff that works.
Do the etiquette soon after – the thanks, the connections and follow-ups…make resolutions about how you will present in the future.
And maybe read ‘You’re Talking To Me?’ on rhetoric which is new and looks interesting.
Any other tips most welcome, folks…