My Top Tip for Would-Be Presenters & Speakers

I’ve lost count of the amount of people who ask me for advice about public speaking or presenting.

The most common question I get is along the lines of:

“I’m okay chatting to you or say a few people, but put me in front of a boardroom or hall full of people and I lose it. How do I get over that?”

This is my advice.

I assume you know your stuff. If you don’t, I can’t help you.

“Yeah, I really know my stuff, it’s just the amount of people that gets me” is the usual response.

Well in that case, I say, remember this:

The more people there are, the easier it is. 

If you’re talking to me 1:1 you’ve only got one shot at making a connection or persuading me of your point of view. Speak to me and a colleague, your odds have just doubled. I could continue to do the maths with 10, 20 50, 100+ in the audience but you get the gist. Your odds of making a connection with your audience increases (I think) exponentially with each additional audience member.

Tell a joke to one person, you need a 100% success rate to get a laugh. Tell it to 500, a 15% success rate will have you feeling like Jerry Seinfeld.

Add to the mix that when you’re presenting (unless you’re Pauline Hanson) most people actually want you to do well They’re on your side.

So I’ll say it again.

The more people there are, the easier it is. 

Now go knock that presentation out of the park! 🙂

PS: If you’re after any other tips about doing talks and stuff professionally, check out these tips I put together a while back.

Leave a Reply