If you’ve explored 100 Top Public Speaking Tips, you know that many of them are not about formal presentations.
And while small talk… job interviews… running effective meetings… and writing killer thank you notes are all important aspects of public speaking, the day may come when you deliver a formal, stand-up, “podium” presentation.
If and when that happens, you can create a confident, successful presentation by following the steps laid out in this tip, Tip 99 and Tip 100.
Successful Public Speaking Begins with a Choice of Attitude
From the moment you learn that you’re going to give a presentation, you get to choose between two attitudes.
You can focus on the possibility of screwing up; or on the opportunity to bring your audience potential value.
While the first attitude is hard to resist, fixating on possibly screwing up will cast a dark cloud over your entire speaking experience.
Choose the Attitude that Leads to Success
Instead, choose the attitude that sets you up for a successful presentation:
Think about how your knowledge, insights, or attitudes
can help your audience succeed.
In other words, don’t think about how you will be judged; think about what your audience needs.
This diagram illustrates what I call “The Public Speaking Relationship”:
Do you see how the three elements (you, the audience, and your content) are in a dynamic balance?
- When you present content that’s useful to your audience, they’ll show their appreciation by paying attention.
- When your audience pays attention, you’ll relax and speak to them in a more natural and effective way.
- And as you relax and speak more naturally, you and your audience will both enjoy the benefits of connecting around your content.
Your Attitude is What Sets This “Virtuous Cycle” in Motion
It isn’t rocket science; but successful public speaking does require that you step outside of your ego — at least for long enough to think about what would help your audience!
Be guided by that awareness as you gather material for your presentation and organize it into a speech that’s easy to deliver.
There is a lot of information on how to do this in these blog posts, and in my book, Speak Like Yourself… No, Really! — but here’s the main thing to keep in mind:
And by the way, if you find yourself thinking that you don’t have “a right” to speak because other people know more than you, remember:
You don’t need to be the world’s greatest expert on a topic to speak about it effectively.
You just have to know something that your audience doesn’t know or hasn’t thought about… yet!
NOTE: For how to practice and deliver the speech you’ve created, check out Public Speaking Tip 99: For a Successful Presentation, Practice Individual Ideas Throughout Your Day and Public Speaking Tip 100: For a Successful Presentation, Go for What You Know with Your Audience.