Understand what each and every line means and why it is
The trick, of course, is to then be able to deliver your
presentation effectively without just reading the content
aloud. Being completely familiar with your material will
allow you to be more conversational and thus more confident and comfortable onstage. You’re unlikely to be rattled
if something does go amiss.
And something will likely go amiss—a power outage, a
delayed client, a missing audio visual guy. No matter what
happens, though, if you know your material so well that
you can discuss it without feeling tied to your notes, you
will instantly feel comfortable.
For example, even though I have already rehearsed my
material prior to a presentation, I run through it again
after arriving (sometimes twice), just to make sure everything works and sounds right in the venue. I am especially
careful to do this when I have music or graphics included
in my presentation.
Knowing your material can definitely cut down on stage
fright, but other methods for fighting the jitters exist,
It is true that if you lose your focus and forget what
you’re saying, your audience is likely to do the same. If
you worry about overlooking an important point, put a
colorful Post-it note with a key word on it where you’ll see
it during your talk. If all else fails, have a few questions
to ask the audience—giving you time to think while they
In addition, stage fright can easily catch up with you
when you don’t know where to look and you’re afraid
someone may laugh at you or not return your glance. If you
can muster up the courage to use direct eye contact with
your audience, you will find it increases your chances of
connection. Feel free to invite someone you know, or even
someone you’ve just met, to ask a question or make a comment. That will get things started and ease those jitters!
Pinpoint your presentation’s
goal and determine the tone.
Focus on how you want the
audience to be impacted and
how to effectively do that.
You can also script your talk. Take
a few minutes to jot down some
notes when rehearsing so you know
when and where to move. Take a
lesson from the theatre—if you want
to emphasize a particular point, it is
generally better to do it while standing still.
Finally, realize no matter how precisely you have refined your speech
or presentation, “stuff” happens.
Your client changes his mind or the
big boss decides on a different presentation theme at the last minute.
Be sure to leave a little bit of room for
unforeseen events. This is one time
where flexibility definitely equals
Excellent speakers exhibit confidence, charisma, calmness, poise,
smooth and well-modulated delivery,
and are informative and entertaining. They are able to deliver content
in a way that is easy to understand,
as well as tell memorable stories and
And almost certainly, excellent
speakers are prepared, giving them
the confidence they need to talk to an
audience. Understanding preparation
can make you an excellent speaker
shannon alter ( Shannon@AlterConsultinggroup.com), cPM®, is a real estate consultant with alter consulting
Group ( alterconsultinggroup.com) in santa ana, calif. she is the author of the IreM key report Strategies For
Working with Small tenants.