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Public Speaking Anyone? How to Prepare your Nerves.

Last week, I was very excited to have met Mark Bunn.  Mark is our guest speaker for the Healthy Practice Conference in May 2014.  He is a former AFL player and motivational speaker and will address delegates with his wisdom on working smarter, not harder.  Mark is here to remind us the simple things in life are invaluable to your health and happiness.  

“Most business people are very busy, but only some are successful.  The difference is the clarity of their goals and strategies to get the important things done while eliminating the junk and this is exactly what I will be workshopping with delegates at the conference – how to be smarter about your business decisions without working any harder than you already do,” Mark said.

“Work-life balance is so important for everyone, and if I can give people some useful tools to help them achieve a happy medium between their business demands and their home life then I’m happy.

“Our greatest wealth is our health and when we look after ourselves first, the rest follows.

“I’m excited to be the guest speaker at the Healthy Practice Conference and I’m pleased to provide all delegates with a copy of my book Ancient Wisdom for Modern Health and a 12-month subscription to my online Health and Life Balance Program,” he said.

Whilst chatting, we got onto the subject of public speaking and presenting to other professionals.  How do you prepare for a presentation without getting into a panic?!

Mark’s suggestions were to make sure you be yourself!  That is number one.  If you are good at telling some jokes, tell them.  If you are not, stick to what you do well.  Don’t try to be funny if that is not you being yourself.

Practice and practice and practice.  Knowing your material well will help you deliver it more confidently.  Practice out loud several times, with all the props and notes you plan to use on the day.   When you practice, use a timer and allow room for pausing and breathing!

So, what else can you do?  Here are some of my other tips to help you get ready for a presentation:

Know the audience.  It is easier to imagine that you are speaking to friends, than total strangers.  If you take some time to learn about their backgrounds as a whole, it will give you some insight as to how to pitch your talk.  Saying hello to audience members as they arrive is a good way to make a connection with some of your listeners before you start.

Arrive a little earlier so you can feel comfortable in the room.  Spend a little time standing where you will deliver your presentation, and make sure you know how to work any of the audio-visual equipment if you are using this. Ensure you have a drink of water handy in case you need this during your talk.

Visualise yourself giving your talk.  Imagine how you will stand, and imagine looking out at your audience.

Getting experience is also important.  Take the opportunity to start small. This might be speaking in your work staff meeting, delivering a training package on a topic you know well, providing an in-service to your team, or an interest group that might be running locally.

I think we can all take something away from Mark’s message as well.  Look after your own health.  Get a good night’s rest, drink lots of water, and remember why you are doing the talk.  Is it to provide people with information, or share your knowledge?  Before you speak, remind yourself why you are up there because this will help motivate you.  Get rid of the self-doubt as the people you are speaking too will want you to succeed as well. If you can look after yourself and your mind and feel confident in your thoughts, the rest will follow.

Finally, the last thing Mark mentioned about public speaking is that it is normal to be nervous and we can’t ever expect not to be.

Thanks Mark for meeting with me last week.  I am so excited to hear your address at the conference. If you want to learn more from Mark Bunn about making your life happier and healthier in line with your business, then come along to our conference dinner and to Mark's workshop.  Visit http://www.maidalearning.com.au/conference-2014/register.html to register your place.

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