Dear (Contact First Name),
Spring is right around the corner; with that comes Spring Conferences and meetings. I'm receiving many calls about coaching individuals for upcoming public speaking opportunities. And so, here are some tips for helping you make the best presentation possible when the time comes for you.
Do not forget that the first few seconds upon meeting others are the most critical! This is where we make our first and lasting impression.
How do you look? What you wear matters a lot, but so does your posture and the way that you stand. Do you project confidence? What is your body language like? What are you doing with your hands? How are you holding your head? What about your eye contact? Do you have a genuine smile? All of these aspects are elements that are judged when you speak in front of a group.
How do you sound? Do you sound animated or monotone? Are you speaking too quickly or too slowly? Do you sound confident or tentative? Do you sound experienced or like a novice in your field?
Are you organized? Have you planned an introduction? When giving an introduction, you should begin with something that grabs the audience's attention. Examples include a rhetorical question, an amazing fact, a quote, or an important statistic. Whatever it is, you should make the audience want to listen further. However, you should be careful with jokes and humor; they can fall flat or offend someone (which may undermine your entire presentation).
Why should they listen to you? Why are you the expert? What is your background? You need to establish your credibility if it hasn't already been done when you were introduced to the audience.
What is your message and how will you be addressing it? The audience should hear in the beginning what you will be discussing. If someone had to leave the room for a phone call right after the introduction, they should know what the presentation was going to be about.
And this is simply the introduction! Although the content of your presentation is important and contains the examples and details, don't rush though the introduction or conclusion. They are the "bookends" of your presentation and complete the package. They comprise your first and last(ing) impressions!