Back in May I did my first in-person speaking gig after 2 years of only doing webinars.
As you can guess, it was not all smooth sailing.
There were some setbacks with logistics, setting up the projector, minor stuff. But things could’ve really gone south for me when I was in the very middle of my presentation.
As I looked around, I noticed interest in the faces of the audience, their body language responding to my content in ways that you could never really see during a Zoom call.
I started going with the flow of that feedback, going deeper into details that I don’t normally cover in my presentation. And suddenly I realized…
I was using the time I needed to get to my call to action! (a.k.a. the single most important part of a presentation!!!)
It hadn’t occurred to me that the audience’s reaction could influence my carefully timed presentation, but it did.
The whole point of speaking as a business owner is to do it strategically, and speaking in-person again after so long made me realize I needed a refresher on what details to look out for.
So here are a few tips to help you get back in front of live audiences and get the best possible results:
1. Help manage the event a bit more. The logistics behind an in-person event are a lot different than for an online one, and the group you speak for might be just getting back to doing them after a 2-year pause. So, helping them out a bit more to keep track of details will save you time and headaches.
2. Regardless of the size of the audience, serve them at the highest level. Don’t let a small attendance keep you from delivering the best value to the group.
3. Remember to apply your usual speaking criteria. Your criteria (which btw I HIGHLY recommend setting if you haven’t already) is something that should be top of mind when accepting a speaking gig. Whether it’s the compensation for the gig, or if it’s for members only, whatever you have figured out works best for you, DON’T ignore it just so you can get the win of booking a gig.
4. Remember to practice your call to action. This is a tremendously important part of your presentation and, because you’re not sitting in front of a screen anymore, you can’t read it off a script! So memorize the wording, practice the delivery (10 times more than the rest of your presentation), and make sure you get all those little details right.
5. Be mindful of your expectations around feedback DURING your presentation. Watching people react to your presentation in-person can throw you off your game, and that can be particularly disruptive if you have a short time to deliver your content.
If you want to know how I bounced back from almost messing up my presentation and expand on each tip, watch these videos:
Tips 1 to 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlMn2wN2Y8A
Tip 5 + the full story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zdOS5c-YhM&t=174s