Great Speakers Mingle with the Audience Before a Presentation

Public Speaking: Tips Before You Speak

Ideally by the time you get to a presentation, you should be well prepared and ready to have some fun. But sometimes little problems can throw you off your game and result in a less than satisfactory talk. The best way to be ready to speak is to have a good routine that gives me peace of mind as well as prepares me for any challenges.

Get Some Exercise:

This is a great way to get rid of any pre-speech jitters. Public speaking can produce a higher amount of adrenaline in your body. It’s a normal reaction to anticipating a presentation. Try getting some exercise early in the day, especially if you have a morning presentation. It gives you a chance to review my talk in my mind as well as silence any nervous thoughts. If you’re speaking later in the day, you may want to take a short walk. You’ll release some tension from your muscles and get some fresh air. An athlete stretches before a game and you need to also make sure you’re as physically relaxed as possible before you reach the podium.

Arrive Early and Mingle:

By arriving early, you eliminate any tension you might have felt about being late! It’s a great chance to get the feel for the room. You should also use this as a chance to get to know the people who will be in your audience. A roomful of strangers can be intimidating so it’s nice to make a few friends beforehand. Some small talk can go a long way. “Hi, I”m happy to be speaking to your group today,” is a very safe icebreaker. You can also ask how long someone has been with the company, where they live, or even if they prefer Coke or Pepsi. Your goal is to build some rapport so you become a person to the audience and not an unknown presenter. You’ll also have an easier time relating to the crowd.

Watch Your Food and Drink:

Many Speakers don’t like to eat too much before they speak as the digestive process raises your body temperature. Next thing you know, you’re on stage and feel hot, which is a distraction. If a meal is served, try to eat it later. Of course you need to make sure it’s not taken away by an overeager server! For the same reason, beware of drinking hot beverages before talking. Soft drinks bring with them carbonation, which could lead to an unexpected burp. It may be dull but I find water is the best way to wet your whistle.

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Ken Okel is a communications expert who helps people and organizations move from survival to success. For his free newsletter and special report, 7 Communication Mistakes that are Costing You Money, go to his website at

You’ll also be able to see a video of Ken’s famous police dog attack story. See Ken’s tips invade YouTube at:

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