At a recent women's conference, I made these notes to myself:
- DO smile a lot, to engage your audience. Genuine smiles cover a multitude of mistakes.
- Transparency endears you to your audience. "I have a confession to make" piques my curiosity, but DON'T give too many gory details, or I want to run out screaming.
- DO engage your audience on a personal level. Ask questions, have them give 30-second shoulder rubs to each other, and address a few by name.
- DON'T draw attention to your actions that don't fit with your message. "Oops--my microphone is slipping, I need to fix it," or, "I'm going to get a drink of water here," etc. Just take care of it, and trust your audience to understand.
- If you chose a short dress, DO wear pantyhose. Bare legs look unprofessional for a speaker at a larger venue than someone's back yard.
- Even a funny, great story needs to be concise and to the point. DON'T ramble and repeat, or we lose interest.
- DO show us how you put the principles into practice in your own life, to convince us you know what you are talking about.