Now you have your presentation together and you feel good about it: but, as a presenter, is anything missing? Have you considered all the following issues?
Do you know what your audience will be wearing? Don’t waste energy and stress yourself out wondering what to wear the day of your talk. Ask enough people to get the right answer. Are jeans with a fitted jacket appropriate, or a simple pants suit with gorgeous jewelry? Keep outfits assembled in your closet that you can just put on. Most of the time, wear something that fits in but is just a bit more dressed than the audience.
And when traveling, take an extra top or shirt just in case you spill something.
Your posture preventative plan
So many of my clients ask me to help them with their posture, especially after they see themselves on DVD. I tell them that you have to work on your posture before you stand up in front of an audience. You want to show up looking confident and not having to think about your body posture.
Consistent exercise is the only way to change your posture. I have danced most of my life, but also have done Pilates, yoga, cross fit, and stretching classes. At the moment, I really am enjoying Gyrotonic. I notice that even for me, my posture is better and I have an easier time sitting in my chair with a nice upright back and head.
Find something that works for you and do it. Consistency is the key to changing your posture.
Your posture contingency plan
Here are two tips from a previous newsletter about what you can do when you are actually standing or sitting in front of an audience. This is a contingency plan, but even this you should practice before you present.
Standing and walking: Stand up and notice where you weight is in your foot. Notice how your chest feels. Now push your heels into the floor while keeping some weight on the front of your foot. When I do push my heels into the floor, I engage the back of my legs, my pelvis comes underneath me, my shoulders straighten and my stomach muscles engage. This is amazingly simple. When you do this, it is hard to feel nervous or anxious. Your body is up. Your chest is up.
Do the same thing when walking: use your heels. Feel the back of your legs.
Sitting: Sit the way you usually do and notice that you have to work to keep your chest up and your shoulders back. Now sit on your sit bones. When you do this you will feel upright and notice you are using your stomach muscles. At the same time, feel your feet on the floor and your heels pushing, or at least feeling the floor. Notice how your posture straightens up automatically. For the Alexander approach to sitting, go here:
Every person is different. You know if you eat too many crackers and chips the night before a talk, that your mouth will be dry. You know that if you have a donut the day of a talk, your head will feel fuzzy. Or maybe a couple of glasses of wine the night before your talk will keep you awake.
Once you’re on the road, it’s hard to eat healthfully; so plan better. Take food that you can eat. Accept that your body has needs and provide them-don’t just think about it. There are enough different ideas out there that one or two of them will work for you.
Claudyne Wilder coaches executives, managers, and salespeople on how to deliver presentations that get to the message. Her clients give compelling, passionate presentations. Her company has an ongoing contract to give her Get to the Message: Present with a Purpose workshop at a Fortune 100 Global Pharmaceutical Company. Claudyne brings a unique and invigorating perspective to her work from her years of studying the Argentine Tango.
Do visit Claudyne’s site at Wilder Presentations to sign up for her blog, her tweets or to download some free presenting tools.