Ten Things You Must Do Before Getting on That Business Stage

1. Have a clear message – You’re not going to just get up there and blah, blah, blah right?
You are going to be persuasive, and you are going to create impact with your well- chosen words. You will be giving your audience what they need, what they want to hear, and challenging them a little, exciting them a lot, and don’t forget to be provocative. Deliver a message that is passionate, answers questions, and provides solutions.2. Rehearse – Please don’t wing it, unless you are the King or Queen of Improvisation.
Take time to walk through your presentation, saying it out loud so that you can hear how you sound. Don’t wait until the last minute to rehearse. Practice in front of a friend, colleague, or professional. Check your ego at the door. You are taking on a role. Playing the best version of yourself requires some attention, creation and repetition. Take your time to develop this role.3. Know your material inside out and then forget it – Once you have absorbed yourself in your presentation, be willing to let it go. If a client or participant wants to ask a question or take you in another direction, great, have fun and go along for the ride. Nailing your material means that you can pick up your topic where you left off, or head to another point. No temptation to focus on your notes or get stuck in your PowerPoint presentation, because you know your material.4. Feeling authentic-Have you created a presentation that really reflects your personality? I hope so. Did you include your wicked sense of humor, or great ability to tell stories? Do you sound like everyone else, playing it safe, or have you pushed the envelope? The kiss of death is to just blend in and be generic. Don’t forget that you are the product; make sure your personal style is all over your material.5. Managing your stage fright-Feeling a little bit nervous is a good thing. It gives you an extra boost of adrenaline and gets you focused. Feeling like you are going to pass out, that is another story. Here are some quick tips to manage those butterflies:Plant some friends in the audience, people who support you and want you to succeed. Play to the warm bodies, those friendly smiling faces. Before you present, make sure to schmooze and make some contacts, this will warm you up and help you to feel connected. Don’t lose yourself in your material. If you are nervous, look to your audience. Staying connected will calm you down. If this is your first big presentation, you can tell on yourself. Share your nervousness in a humorous way, and be amazed by the love and support you receive.6. What are you wearing-You must look great for your presentation. Don’t wait for the last minute to figure out your wardrobe. I made that mistake once, and had to scramble to find something that fit. Purchase a power wardrobe for your presentations, outfits that make you look awesome. Make sure you feel good in these clothes. Feel your best, and you will look your best. Don’t opt for safe and drab, choose some color. Stand out! You are the star, aren’t you?7. Think about connecting-As a presenter, you must make a connection with your audience. In order to get your message across, to be believable, to inspire confidence, you must connect. Once you have established a strong bond with the people in the room, you can create magic, sell, convince, amaze, and win people over. This one is a big deal, not to be taken for granted. You must create this bond, and create it quickly.8. Get in the acting zone-It’s time to get into role (the best possible version of yourself), to put on your costume (business suit), to command the stage (or podium, or conference room) and wow your audience ( clients, colleagues). It’s time to put out all the stops, and in a professional, dynamic and effective manner, deliver your message.9. Ready to Shine-If you have done any work with me by now you should know what I mean by shining. You have accessed your star qualities, and you are powerful and intentional in delivering your message. You are open, available, and willing to share all of the fabulous qualities you possess. Your reflection is blinding.10. After the show is over-It’s time to pat yourself on the back for a job well-done. This is not the time for judgments and should haves. You have plenty of time to assess your performance later. Now is the time to bask in the glow of having gotten up on that stage, and delivered your best performance. Not best for all time, but best for that day. Celebrate!