Some random suggestions to consider as you prepare for your next presentation.
* Clothing and jewelry should be plain and simple. Large, gaudy pins and earrings can be distracting. Tone down the jewelry, and wear simple prints or solids.
* Eat light beforehand, and watch certain foods. Dairy products and sweets make you clear your throat, carbonated beverages cause belching, and greasy foods leave an annoying film on your teeth.
A light snack, such as a granola bar with water, will take the edge off your hunger pain. If a meal is part of the program, eat some potatoes. Mashed potatoes seem to be the norm at conferences, making it easier to put down some quick food. Save the rest of your meal for after your presentation.
* Don’t bind or staple your script. That forces you to turn the pages, which is distracting. You should slide your pages as you speak. Avoid licking a finger before grasping a page. If you have dry skin, apply a few drops of hand lotion prior to speaking. Remember to maintain eye contact as you turn pages.
* Keep your hands free, especially if you’re a fidgety type. Clicking a pen or jingling coins in your pocket is very annoying. Feel free to move about while speaking to small groups. You’ll be more relaxed and in control.
* Set a timepiece on the lectern or near your notes. That will help you stay on time, of course, but it also keeps you from glancing at your watch. That’s bad form.
Don’t assume that the room you’re speaking in has a clock in a convenient spot. Bring your own timepiece. A watch or timer will suffice.
For related reading, see “Resolve to improve your communication skills” and “Eliminate filler words for more effective presentation.”
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