You want me to stand in front of…..PEOPLE?!
At the beginning of summer, a great friend and colleague Susan Hicks asked if I would speak with her at a SCORE workshop series on the relationship between PR and digital marketing. My standard response for anything having to do with getting up in front of people is no (well, it’s no with some other words attached.) It’s something that has scared me all my life. I know that I’m not alone, I wanted to share my experience with you since the other thing that I said I would never do is write a blog.
So, at first, months before the actual standing up part, it was easy. I treated it like I would treat a job for a client. Susan, Nick (Nick Choat was the third person on the panel) and I met and started designing our presentation. Easy at first. Find the keynote template, create the structure in which to frame our discussion, find images that made sense – all non-scary things that I love to do everyday. Up until the middle of September it was going well, then, I had to actually figure out what exactly I was going to say.
Here is where it got tricky. I started long hand, writing every word. Wrote it out several times. Can’t read my writing so I had to type it up, again word-for-word, trying to wring every bit of information out in my 15 minutes. Then I tried memorize the thing, which was impossible. Then I really got scared.
Luckily I have the most wonderful coach, Jane Barr. She brought a sense of calm and ease to my rather worried self and said, “Don’t make it so hard.”
She said: keep it simple.
1. Start with a killer opening sentence.
2. Tell them what you are going to cover in your presentation, keeping that to a manageable amount of info.
3. Go over the key points, one at a time, starting with a powerful statement, following with the problem at hand and then the solution to that problem.
4. Finish with a review of your solution.
5. Oh, and practice, practice, practice.
I was able to give my presentation with NO NOTES, and while I wasn’t exactly comfortable, I really felt I was giving good information that the audience could use, and that was what made it all work.
That is what I want my best practices blog to be about as well. Good information that I hope you can use in your business.