I’ve given about six or seven presentations since November . . . what used to be a scary, nerve-wracking experience has now become quite a bit of fun.
Although I enjoy public speaking, I know I can do better. So I was very happy to read David Meerman Scott’s blog post, 10 Tips for Becoming an Incredibly Successful Public Speaker, a while ago.
I used a few of his tips, especially the one about not using PowerPoint as a teleprompter. (Guilty as charged.)
David followed up his initial 10 tips post with another post about his colleague, Nick Morgan, offering a free e-book, before you Open Your Mouth — the keys to great public speaking. It’s a free download — meaning no registration required.
Nick discusses the four keys that make a speaker a *great* speaker, and one of those key elements is rehearsing your speech.
This is something I learned early on. I usually spend a good three to five hours rehearsing. I rehearse getting up to the podium or stage, my introduction, any stories I’m using, and my transitions.
Most importantly, I rehearse how to click through to things like YouTube videos and Websites — because technological snafus are the worst, something I learned at the last presentation I gave.
I share my mistakes with you, and what I learned, so that you can learn from me (as I learned from David).
BIG MISTAKE #1: Instead of using my own laptop, I used the laptop provided. The laptop had Vista, which I haven’t used, thus, I fumbled around a lot with the unfamiliar environment.
BIG MISTAKE #2: Because I didn’t have my own computer, I didn’t check to see if I could access Websites such as YouTube before my presentation.
Thus, I couldn’t show my great social media examples. And, I couldn’t get into SM sites such as Twitter because I couldn’t remember my passwords.
BIG MISTAKE #3: I kept pointing at the laptop versus using a laser pointer to point things out on the screen. An audience member pointed it out to me — a tip for which I am eternally grateful!
The audience was very nice and we all laughed about the snafus, but I learned a huge lesson.
That night I gave another presentation and made sure everything was working before the audience arrived. I also opened all of the sites I would be accessing during the presentation so that they were ready to go before-hand.
What the lessons have you learned while giving presentations?