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Guest speaker

I have been asked to be a guest speaker at a Tafe college. I have never done this sort of thing before.
I’m after a few tips
any help would be greatly appreciated

3 Answers

Hi Greg, I just did my first speaking gig at the Accounting Business Expo and it was amazing! Like already mentioned know your topic and rehearse as much as possible. I found I knew the content very well so my slides were just my prompt and that was all. People responded very well to the amount of content and how I presented. Lots of eye contact around the room and I found if I jumped up on stage and just took a brief second to centre my thoughts that really really helped calm my nerves. I was very nervous but I really enjoyed it and am sure you will too. Enjoy it and hope it all goes super well!

Hi Greg, Opportunities like this can be a great chance to profile yourself and your business so grab it with both hands! I'm assuming you've been asked because of your industry and that you're probably speaking to students studying in your field? It's important to think about "who is my audience" and adjust your message accordingly. For example, is the audience familiar with the topic and therefore the use of technical language or jargon would be well understood by them or alternatively do I need to put technical concepts into everyday language as my audience are novices in the area. An audience of students might be more open to a more casual style of presenting and the use of humour or some personal stories whereas a professional audience may have different expectations. As Lee has already suggested to you, using notes as a guide only is generally better. Also make sure that a clock (or your own watch) is visible so you know when your time is almost up and be prepared for what you can leave out of your presentation if your time is running out. If it's a smaller audience, you could ask them at the start what they would like to know (what they hope to get out of your presentation) and then try to answer that within the presentation or answer it specifically at the end if you haven't already covered it. This helps people to feel that you're talking 'to' them rather than 'at' them. If it's appropriate, you could also offer to stay around and answer any other questions individually (for people who might not feel confident enough to ask in front of the group or again if time is running out). If these are students in your industry you might also look out for particularly eager or bright students who could make good employees and invite them to contact you down the track (have business cards or a flyer about your business) as this could be an inexpensive way to recruit for your business! And remember to smile and breathe. Good luck!

Hi Greg
1/ Practice
2/ Don't read off Power Point slides
3/ Practice'
4/ Use notes as guides to stay on track not to read from
5/ Rehearse
6/ Rehearse
7/ Leave time for questions
8/ Rehearse
Break a leg :).

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