Preparing correctly for your talk is the essential step that few people seem to bother with.
Here’s the best bit of advice I can give you for success in your speaking: preparation.
Yes, you already knew the answer. I tend to find the people who’ve done badly when giving a talk or having a meeting, didn’t prepare. And I know that you know that you should do the preparation, but I’m going to tell you anyway.
It’s so simple, but it’s bothering to take that extra step, to do a bit of homework about the people we’re going to speak to, or writing of a decent agenda, or considering all the particular things you want to get out of that situation, everything you must cover, having your notes ready for that particular situation, whether it’s a talk, meeting, whatever it is, webinar, whatever, be ready.
Now, there’s being ready in terms of your notes and your cues and all the materials you might need; maybe having a cup of water, cup of tea, something ready, but also there’s being mentally prepared. For me this is looking at all the stuff that I’ve got ready, all my cues and notes and sheets of stuff and saying, ‘right, good, I’ve put in the work, I’ve rehearsed’, but it’s also: take a moment. Remember, you know your stuff. You’re going to share something exciting with some people given you’ve maybe never met before. There’s going to be an exchange.
You can’t control everything that happens, but you’re ready. So do yourself a favour, do the preparation and you will maximize your chance of success in any speaking situation.