Confident Presentation: What I Learnt From A Guest Speaker

Yesterday I attended the FNQ Law Society, International Women’s Day Breakfast at the Pacific Hotel in Cairns. Great venue and an amazing room full of (mainly) women who work in various roles in the field of law.

The guest speaker was Tracy Fantin, WLAQ Regional Woman Lawyer of the Year 2016 and as always, I watch speakers not only to listen to the words they say but to learn from their presentation style.

I am fascinated by watching a speaker hold the attention of an audience, or completely lose their attention.

The speaker yesterday embodied a confident, authentic style of speaking, no doubt developed from years in the courtroom and the need to be heard in a profession in which males still dominate at the highest ranks.

What interests me are they elements of delivery that connect them with the audience and how can I develop those things more in myself and the people I coach.

Three key lessons from yesterday:

  1. Pace

Her delivery was measured and paced with absolutely no hint of rushing or hurriedness. She held the floor, completely confident that this was her time to speak and that people would be listening.

Nerves make us speak faster than normal. So too does the ‘internal fraudster’, that insidious internal belief that you don’t deserve to be there, or that no-one wants to hear what you have to say, or that others in the room know more than you.

We all have a little of the internal fraudster script running in the background, especially when we stand in front of our peers. You must learn to notice when it is raising its voice and learn mind-set tricks to control it.

  1. Preparation

The speech was not only inspiring in bringing ideas together but was backed up with appropriate statistics and interesting cases that supported her views.

Do your homework. Not only does this give you credibility but shows that you value your audience’s time and have put effort and thought into your presentation. Preparation also helps with the self-doubt raised above especially if you are speaking to your peers. A good speech takes hours to prepare, so don’t leave your preparation to the last minute.

  1. Voice

Her voice had a grounded depth that immediately made me feel secure and confident in her expertise.

All presenters, but particularly female presenters, need to cultivate a rich voice. This does not mean changing your natural voice into something it is not. It does mean learning how to adjust your pitch and tonality so that there is resonance and depth. Resonance and depth signify confidence and gravitas balanced with warmth.

Ultimately her ability to hold the room came from a well-balanced combination of confidence and great material that was relevant to the morning and the audience.

For me it was the projection of confidence and authority, blended with warmth that made her speech truly impactful.

 

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By | 2017-03-09T11:24:05+00:00 March 9th, 2017|General|Comments Off on Confident Presentation: What I Learnt From A Guest Speaker

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