April 18, 2023
Being onstage while projecting confidence and speaking passionately about your areas of expertise is one of the most powerful forms of thought leadership. Those with stage presence draw people to them in a way that a persuasive sales pitch could never do. Participating in speaking engagements builds credibility and rapport with your audience, expands your reach, broadens your network, and can bring potential opportunities suited to you or your business. And the cherry on top: speaking is one of the best ways to educate and help others on a broader scale.
I started public speaking myself several years ago and have been advising seasoned keynote speakers on their marketing efforts long before that. I’ve also been lucky enough to see a wide array of speakers who demonstrate a powerful presence onstage, including Michelle and Barack Obama, Mindy Kaling, Tory Burch, Brené Brown and many more. Through these experiences, I’ve developed an understanding of the key elements that make a presenter effective and compelling. I now use this knowledge to inform both my clients’ work and my own public speaking efforts. A great speaker makes their job look easy when it’s anything but. Numerous hours go into perfecting a speech and delivering it seamlessly. After participating in a panel last month, I jotted down some of the ways that my fellow panelists and I prepared to get the most out of our speaking experience. When all eyes are on you, here are some items to keep in mind when preparing for your next speaking engagement:
Dress in a way that makes you feel confident and comfortable while also remaining professional. Wearing a lucky statement piece such as a family heirloom, a special watch, a piece of jewelry, or simply an item of clothing that makes you feel great can go a long way to making you feel your best on stage. Also don’t be afraid of color! Many professionals tend to default to darker clothing but it’s ok to stand out with a bright colored suit or even a bright colored shirt under your dark suit.
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