Public speaking is an important part of being a startup CEO. So you need practice so that you will approach each presentation with confidence.
Be Comfortable With Public Speaking
You need to get started as a speaker. Just do it!!
Toastmasters International is one place to develop knowledge practice and confidence. Go to http://www.toastmasters.org/ and get involved. If you are in the UK look into the Association of Speakers Clubs at http://the-asc.org.uk
The Public Speakers Association may be relevant for you. Go to http://publicspeakersassociation.com/ and find out.
Preparing your presentation
Who will you be speaking to? What do they know of your subject? Avoid jargon.
–Tell them what you will tell them
–Tell them what you told them
Do you have a relevant story? Tell the audience what benefit they will receive.
This is a mind game
You will be as good as you will yourself to be.
Do not self-sabotage. Get training. Read the free Dale Carnegie material (below). You will be a good speaker after you believe that you can.
See it in advance. Stand at the podium. Understand the feeling of the space.
Plan what you will wear. Overdress a little. If you need to a man can take off a suitcoat or tie; a woman can remove a piece of jewelry.
Part of your personal preparation should include some mouth
and breathing exercises. Practise saying some tongue
twisters to give your speaking muscles a good work out. Take
a deep breath and expand your diaphragm. Then breathe out,
counting at the same time; try and get up to fifty and not
As part of your personal preparation, write your own
introduction. Write out exactly what you want someone to say
about you, large font, double-spaced and ask the person
introducing you to read it. Believe me they won’t object and
will probably be pleased and impressed.
Practice your presentation. Do not memorize it.
How to relax
In advance in a secluded spot; run in place and wave your arms. Get energized. Watch how Tony Robbins uses physical triggers to get started. Celine Dion does it also.
Greet your attendees as you walk around before things start. Sense their mood. Exchange smiles.
Have a glass of water on the podium.
You will always be a little bit nervous. Pretend that you are calm. Your natural nervousness will help give you energy.
As you move to your speaking position; stride purposefully and almost quickly. Be erect. Project that you are in charge.
Before you speak:
Stop a minute. Look out at your audience and smile. Look likeable. Wait for quiet.
Delivering your presentation
Start with an interesting (relevant) statement that seizes the attention of everyone.
Help each attendee to know that you are thinking of him/her as an individual.
Speak with volume and energy. Move around.
Combine your passion with energy, enthusiasm and emotion …. but do not overdo the passion and emotion in business presentations.
Keep your PowerPoint simple and elegant. Do not do fancy things that will break the onsite system. Do not (NEVER) just read the slides.
Practice your presentation! Do not memorize it. But, be comfortable with it.
Know your audience and whether or not they will ask questions easily. If not then you need to plant three questions to help the audience get engaged.
Repeat questions so that all in the audience and any recordings understand each question.
If your last question does not help you to close strong; then make a (prepared) statement and close strong.
When to stop (end)
Stop one minute before the end of your scheduled time; after getting the audience to agree with you three (3) times; and close strong.
What followups should you make? Reward yourself for the good parts. Reflect briefly on the mistakes.
Learn from any criticism. Be patient. Practice. Learn to relax.
Do not be a perfectionist
Do not wait for perfection. Just speak from your thoughts and be authentic.