I’ve created a list to help you prepare for your next speaking gig
I love a List. I also love a checklist. If you love checklists do read Atul Gawande’s excellent book – The Checklist Manifesto – definitely worth it.
Here's a list that you could turn into a checklist, of what you might want to consider when preparing for your next speaking gig:
1. Be Clear on what success looks like:
- Clarify the purpose of your speech and what the client wants the audience to take away.
2. Understand the Audience:
- Research and understand as much as you can about the audience; demographics, nationalities, expectations etc.
- Tailor your content and delivery to resonate with them while still delivering on the objective.
3. Prepare Your Speech:
- Plan the structure of your speech with an introduction, main points, and conclusion.
- Make sure your message is clear and focused and that it delivers on the objective.
- Create visual aids or materials if needed.
- Practice your speech to make it clear and easy to understand.
- Rehearse your speech several times to build confidence and get the timing right.
- Pay attention to your body language and voice.
- Ask for feedback from others to improve.
- Prepare extra material in case you need to fill more time and look at what you can cut if your time is reduced.
5. Prepare for Questions:
- Think about what people might ask and come up with good answers.
- Listen carefully to questions and respond thoughtfully.
- Stay calm and have an open conversation with the audience.
6. Talk to the Organisers:
- Talk with the event organisers to understand the details and what they expect from you.
- Give them any information or materials they need.
- Arrive early on the day of the event to get familiar with the location and meet the organisers.
7. Dress Appropriately:
- Wear clothes that match the event's dress code and make you look professional.
- Choose comfortable clothes that let you move easily.
8. Technical Check:
- Familiarise yourself with the venue and any equipment you'll be using.
- Test microphones, projectors, or other tools beforehand.
- Have backups of your presentation on different devices.
9. Deal with Nerves:
- Find ways to calm your nerves before speaking, like taking deep breaths or imagining a positive outcome.
- Remind yourself that you're knowledgeable and prepared.
- Think positively and believe in yourself.
10. If there’s a Networking Opportunity:
- Have a way of collecting people’s contact details, if you have theirs, you can follow-up.
- Prepare a short and interesting introduction about yourself or your work but make it about outcomes and what’s in it for them, not all about you.
- Make sure you are speaking less than they are, you’ve delivered your speech now it’s time to listen 😊
11. Follow Up:
- Plan how you'll keep in touch with people after the event.
- Do one or all of the following - send thank-you notes, share more resources, connect on LinkedIn.
Feel free to adapt this list based on your specific speaking engagements and preferences. If you do I’d love to see it.
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