When you’re giving a speech or presentation, it’s not your job to get the audience to like you. In fact, if the audience is paying too close attention to you, they may actually miss your message. Instead, focus on being present and staying attuned to your audience’s needs. From the moment you begin to prepare, think about who will be in the room. Each time you practice, maintain focus on your imaginary audience. The moment you catch yourself going into autopilot, stop and restart your sentence. And right before you speak, take a moment to breathe and look directly at your audience. Then begin with a “you” statement, e.g “Each of you in this room…” or “I want to share a story with you about the power of…” This immediately signals to your audience that you are there to help them.

This tip is adapted from “Do You Need Charisma to Be a Great Public Speaker?” by Sarah Gershman

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