Chapter 6: There's More...
Speak properly, and in as few words as you can, but always plainly; for the end of speech is not ostentation, but to be understood.
At this point it seems we've covered everything but the kitchen sink.
If you've followed the information outlined up until now, you're able to deliver a powerful, compelling presentation that addresses your audience's needs and incorporates the most appropriate, yet exciting,
technological tools available. Your appearance is stellar and your delivery is so tight you couldn't unravel it if you tried. It's nearly perfect.
So what else is there? There are just a few extra tips that need to be covered to make this Public Speaking Guidebook complete.
This chapter will look at the true beginning of your speech (which is the part where someone else introduces you) and the true closing of your speech (which is really the Q&A or question and answer session).
The focus here is the before and the after.
What you need to know is that your speech actually opens way before you hit the stage and there are really two presentations you need to prepare when you're going to speak:
your main speech and the question and answer session.
Let's closely examine these areas so you can let your light shine as you enlighten your audience.
Unlike Johnny Carson, you probably won't have the benefit of being introduced by Ed McMahon who enthusiastically belted H-e-r-e-s Johnny! for more than 30 years.
Even still, there are a few things you can do to make it easy on the person who is going to introduce you. Remember the 3ps—preparation, purpose, and performance—to keep your introduction on point:
- Preparation: Provide the person that will be introducing you with a one-page biography at least a few days in advance. Your bio should include points that are relevant to the listeners.
Even though your children and pets are important to you, don't mention them unless this will help you connect with the audience.
Try to keep it brief because people don't read long biographies anyway and you want them to be able to scan it again quickly right before they introduce you.
That brings us to the next tip, always carry copies of your bio with you. Bios get misplaced all the time and you want yours to be readily available.
If your name is hard to pronounce, include the phonetic spelling in brackets so the person knows how to properly pronounce it.
If you need to cut your bio down, just include facts that demonstrate your credibility for the purposes of this talk. You can always add more in your actual speech.
When you meet the introducer, state your name again as you greet them so they'll be able to connect the bio with your face and so you're sure they know how to pronounce your name.
- Purpose: Don't forget why you're at the event. Your job is to serve the audience—not yourself.
In your correspondence to the organization, always reiterate the topic of your talk, why the information is important and relevant to their audience, and why you have the expertise to effectively deliver this message.
Ensure the purpose is somehow highlighted in your introduction.
- Performance: Remember, the microphone is always hot and the camera is always live. That means you need to be conscious of everything you say and do as soon as you enter the premises.
Even if the microphone isn't officially attached, the audience members are watching you and taking mental notes. When you're being introduced, know that eyes may be on you and not the person making the introduction.
Sit up in your chair, make sure your hair and makeup are already in place, smile (if appropriate), and look like you're ready for prime time before you even hit the stage.
Now that you've been properly introduced, you need to remember to keep your best face forward even after the audience thinks you've officially closed.
There's a presentation after the presentation and you need to be ready for an action-packed Q&A session.