I had an incredible time speaking to the wonderful women at the Woodmen Women’s Conference in Colorado Springs this weekend.
As I prepared to go on stage, I was laughing with one of the conference coordinators about all the little things I’ve learned from experience that nobody teaches you about public speaking. So far, I’ve learned the following:
1. Never wear a dress. The microphone needs to attach to the back of your pants and the wires run up your back and up to the earpiece.
2. Never wear dangling earrings or a necklace that could click against the microphone attached to your ear.
3. Open your water bottle before you get on stage. It is really awkward when your sweaty hands fumble to open a water bottle midway through your presentation.
4. Don’t wear shoes you can’t walk in even if everyone else wears high heels.
5. Don’t wear an outfit you’ve never worn before. It won’t feel natural and familiar to you.
There you have it. Just some lessons from the road. But if you were hoping for some real tips for your next presentation, I’ve provided my best ones below:
1. Research your audience. Don’t talk about how great Penn State is if the front row are all from Ohio State.
2. Be yourself. They aren’t coming to hear this or that other speaker. They want what you have to say, so stick to your own story.
3. Don’t think you are more special or important because you have a visible task. God also used donkeys and stones to speak.
4. Reiterate your main points with a single word or image the audience can remember.
5. Never evaluate yourself based on how people respond. Your task is to deliver the message you’re supposed to give. Let God handle the impact and move on with your day.