In this post you will learn a 10-step process to help you prepare for your next public speaking event.
As engineers, we love to understand the process and the systems we can set in place to solve problems or tackle daily tasks and new challenges.
I figured it is a great opportunity to share a snapshot of my public speaking process for an upcoming event.
The first thing is to understand that the process starts WAY before you get on that stage (or screen based on our current situation). Here is how it typically works:
1️⃣ Identify if the event you are applying for is in alignment with who you would like to meet & speak to, if yes ⬇️
2️⃣ Prepare your idea or proposal (choose a topic that can create the most impact, think of something you would’ve like to learn years prior that now feel comfortable sharing with others).
3️⃣ Wait for the answer (if YES, celebrate and start the second phase or preparation, if NO, ask what you could’ve done better – sometimes is not even about your topic but the demand and space available for that specific event).
4️⃣ The second phase starts with planning: how long is your segment, would you like to share any slides or would you prefer to have no slides at all (I usually include visuals as this is also my preferred method of learning).
5️⃣ Create an outline, get into research process – what books, articles, or other resources can be helpful to support the core messaging of the presentation. The outline usually includes: introduction, core message, summary, conclusion.
6️⃣ Time to get the work done: prepare the visuals, create the first draft based on the outline, include stories that match with the topic being discussed.
7️⃣ Practice, practice, practice – Record yourself using Zoom or an audio recording app, adjust where needed, continue practicing until the talk becomes second nature.
8️⃣ Connect with the organizers & volunteers at the event, check where you will be presenting, get the most up to date event schedule to see if your time or location has changed, visit the space, get familiar with the team that will be supporting you.
9️⃣ A few minutes before getting on stage (or on your screen if this is a virtual event) check your energy and practice something that allows you to be fully present and positive (either dance to your favorite song, visualizations, breathing exercises, or meditate).
🔟 Last but most importantly – HAVE FUN! The audience is as investing in you succeeding as you are, so enjoy the process, connect, and have fun.
Remember you can tweak and adjust the process to make sure it fits with your preferences and personalities. Public speaking is meant to be a fun and enriching experience. Get in touch with your inner expert who is confident and will deliver a memorable experience not only for those presents but also for yourself.