It’s an honor to be asked to serve as a presenter, so hearty congratulations to you! But many people view this as an obligatory work activity and don’t present themselves in the best light possible. Don’t be one of these folks. View every speaking engagement as “show time” and conduct yourself accordingly.
Dress for the Occasion
Sure, you’re only presenting to your colleagues so what’s the big deal, right? Well it is a big deal that you were asked, so treat it like the important occasion it is. No, you don’t have to rent formal attire, but nix the “Casual Friday” garb. As a presenter, you’re the “Star” so look the part!
Speak Like a Presenter
Though you might know everyone in the room, you weren’t invited to be one of the crowd, so don’t spend your time socializing. It’s fine to greet attendees and to exchange pleasantries. It’s also okay to chat with folks to understand their expectations of your talk so that you can target your remarks accordingly. Whether you’re being paid or not, remember that you’re there to work. You have a distinguished role as the presenter, so unless you’re directed otherwise, place yourself and your materials at the front of the room and comport yourself like the “Guest Speaker” you are. If you’re physically able to do so, stand during your presentation to command authority and to deliver your remarks with maximum effectiveness.
Prepare for Questions
Some speakers look befuddled when they finish their presentation and get questions from the audience. This should never be a surprise. Even though they may know you, most attendees want to learn more about you and your perspectives. Always be prepared for questions. And when you truly get one that you simply can’t answer, be honest about this. Offer to research it and take the inquirer’s contact information so you can respond at a later date. Remember that you’re the expert and that your audience values what you have to say, even if they get your response after the presentation.
Feel proud about being asked to present your thoughts and expertise to others. But remember that you’re “on stage” when you’re invited to speak, so look and act the part. Your audience expects this professionalism and “authority.” You’ll feel good about the stature you’re afforded too!
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About the Author:
Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant specializing in Success Psychology.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,
The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Your Success Psychologist!
Clinical Psychology Consulting
Mailing Address: 7027 West Broward Boulevard, #262 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317