My first experience as a speaker during a conference…
After a lot of oral presentations at EFAP, last week I had the opportunity to speak « for real » in front of a professional audience.
A huge thanks to my manager in the Junior Consulting Project: Adeline Follea (consultant in digital marketing), who propose to me to participate and trust me as a speaker for this conference about Oenotourism.
During the « Salon International de l’Agriculture » with three others experts of wine and spirits: @Vincent Cuillier (Owner of Champagne Cuillier), @Cécile Israel (Brand ambassador in China) and @Jean-Michel Bonnichon (Owner of Chateau La Renommée) we talked about the development of wine tourism by talking about key points such as digital marketing and Chinese consumers. (Obviously, it was not in Chinese but in French – I am still improving my Chinese thanks to Nolwenn’s article)
This event takes place on the scene of the digital farm: an association that aims to promote innovation and digital technology for efficient, sustainable and socially responsible agriculture.
This experience was really interesting for me. Even if I loooove to speak, and unfortunately I lost « felicitations » several times, on my high school reports for chatting…. To speak in public is always a difficult exercise.
So after this fascinating experience, I have 3 tips for your next public speaking :
« Becoming a great speaker is an art, not a science.»
1. Manage your stress
I know that is easier to say than to do. Even the most seasoned speakers can get nervous prior to presenting. Remember that you are there to provide them with valuable information and if the audience members leave with one or two new items, you have made it worth their while. At first, I had to present myself, which is for me the hardest part. After my little personal presentation, I noticed that with the stress I was speaking very fast. Which for the second speaking I tried to do my best to take my time and speak more slowly.
2. Memorize concepts, not content.
You may think that the best way to give a flawless speech is to memorize the content word-for-word. But trying that can create a lot of problems for speakers especially if there is interaction. Moreover, if your mind goes blank at any point during the presentation, you will lose your place and potentially create an awkward silence. Or worse, start to panic.
Instead of memorizing the content, focus on the concepts. Do this by creating bullet points of the content, stories, data and key takeaways that you want to get across in each part of your presentation. Then, speak naturally about them.
3. Chat up with the other members before the presentation.
Meeting with the people you are going to be speaking with before you give your speech has several benefits for me it allows you to know which speaker will be more comfortable with the questions asking by the moderator.