I share this perspective on life and speaking from my brother, Robert Fripp, founding and ongoing member of the band King Crimson. Enjoy!
The Rabbi at The Majestic: Wisdom in A Few Words
How Can You Grab Your Audience? Expert Advice from Hollywood
In the classic movie Gone with The Wind, Vivien Leigh captures the audience from her first moment on screen.
Grab your audience in the first 30 seconds. If you don’t, you will lose them. This is true both in movies and in public speaking.
How to Relax for Your Presentation
Is the fear of death really second only to fear of public speaking? Maybe you can relate? A presentation is the most cost-effective way to generate interest in your services, products, expertise, or organization.
It is also the perfect way to build your credibility and prove your expertise. Even if you are a seasoned presenter, you need to learn how to relax and calm your nerves.
The audience does not know how you feel, just how you act. Understanding how to prepare and relax will result in delivering your presentation with confidence and being perceived as credible. You can be confident it is worth the effort.
Focus on the benefits. Image how many new contacts, clients, or buyers you might capture with a well-crafted 20-minute talk delivered to a service club like Rotary or to business owners at your local Chamber of Commerce. This strategy has worked for me and hundreds of clients and colleagues.
If you are more experienced, good presentations give you a competitive edge.
If the thought of a great outcome isn’t enough to calm butterflies in your stomach, these pre-presentation exercises can help you relax and channel any remaining nervousness into energy.
The old showbiz adage is true: “Security is knowing your lines.” There is no substitute for preparation and rehearsal. If this is your first presentation, deliver a few dry runs to your friends and staff. If you have no idea how to prepare a talk, invest in www.FrippVT.com. This is my online learning program that will teach you everything you need to know about finding your content, structuring your speech, opening with impact, telling good stories, and relating to your audience.
When you’ve prepared, edited, and thoroughly rehearsed your talk, you will enjoy a degree of confidence. When it is time to deliver, it is natural to be nervous.
Be confident by knowing the logistics.
What is the purpose of the group or meeting? How long will you have to speak? Where will you be on the agenda? Who is introducing you? Will you need a PowerPoint? What equipment do they have? Which type of microphone are you most comfortable with?
Know your opening and concluding remarks.
There are two segments of your presentation to script and know so well you could wake up in the middle of the night and recite them: the opening and closing few lines. The purpose of your opening is to arouse interest in your subject. The closing remarks should make them want to act. Do not leave either to chance.
Sir Michael Caine’s advice
The Oscar winner says, “Rehearsal is work; performance is the relaxation.”
Relax your body.
Here are a few techniques you can use to prepare and calm yourself physically.
Warm-up and relax your body and face off stage and out of view of your audience.
- If you’re wearing high heels, take them off. Now, stand on one leg and shake the other. You can hold onto a chair for stability. When you put your foot back on the ground, it’s going to feel lighter. Now, switch legs and shake. You want your energy to go through the floor and out of your head. This sounds rather cosmic, but it isn’t. It’s a practical technique used by actors.
- Shake your hands – fast. Hold them above your head, bending at the wrist and elbow, and then bring your hands back down. This will make your hand movements more natural.
- Warm-up your face muscles by chewing in a highly exaggerated way.
- Do shoulder and neck rolls.
- Imagine you are at eye level with a clock. As you look at 12, pull as much of your face up to 12 as you can; now move it to three, then down to six, and finally over to nine.
These exercises will warm you up and relax you. The exaggerated movements will make your movements flow more naturally as you deliver your presentation.
Maximize the experience. Your business is as good as the quality of your relationships. Consider the business and contacts you will generate through your talk. This should help you feel good about speaking! I encourage you to work on your presentation skills, step up to the podium, and profit from the experience.
How to Make Your Presentation “Stick” – Tell Authentic Stories
Have you ever attended a talk where you left energized and enthusiastic, only to get sidewalk amnesia? You forget why you were inspired. By the time you hit the car, the speaker’s message – and your excitement – is lost. Have you delivered a presentation like that?
An unforgettable presentation is “sticky.” It sticks with audience members and continues to influence long after the presentation is over. Vivid and authentic stories are central to presentations that “stick.”