Monday, June 25, 2012

Speakers: Tips to hit the ground running

I picked up my Olympic volunteer uniform this week (no, there won't be a picture for a while, it's not exactly fashionable). It set me to thinking about the athletes who will be turning up to compete this summer. They will be doing everything possible to be on top form when the starting pistol is fired. So should you when you're a speaker. You can't be at your best if you wander in a few minutes before your speech and expect everything to work perfectly.
So here are some tips to help you hit the ground (or the stage) running.

  • Plan everything well in advance - including travel arrangements
  • If you use slides, have several backup copies, both electronically and on paper
  • Aim to arrive several hours before your speech
  • Meet the organiser and run through all the timings
  • Meet the technicians and do a sound check
  • Rehearse any technology switches or microphone swaps
  • Practice your walk on and off stage, as well as moving around on it
  • Just before your speech, warm up your voice (well away from any mikes)
  • Do some physical exercises to warm up your body
  • Hit the stage with a smile
In short, never go on stage "cold". You need to be on top-form from the moment you deliver your first line.


Paul du Toit said...

Great advice, Alan. Very few professionals would take to the stage without implementing all the steps you've suggested here. The prepared pro is there first, chats to people on arrival, looks relaxed and perfectly in control. As a result, the speech will more than likely go as planned.

michael seres said...

great advice, thanks for this