If you have ever been asked to present outside of your direct sphere of influence, you have experienced the nerves that erupt as you walk in to an unknown environment. Questions begin to run through your mind. Will they respect me? Do they care what I have to share? Is my content good enough? These moments of questioning can quickly lead to doubt which can hinder your ability to deliver an excellent presentation.
At Ethos3, we have spent countless hours digging to the root of this insecurity so that we can best serve the presenters we work with, and there is one common denominator in the midst of all the insecurity: a lack of authority.
Authority is a powerful tool in any room, and feeling as if the audience views you as the authority on a subject is vital to feeling confident on presentation day. But how do you earn the authority every presenter needs to feel confident?
At Ethos3, we recommend you start with a basic tool but one that is absolutely essential: an introduction from the person who invited you to speak. There is power in an introduction as it is a way for a person of authority to pass the baton to you, in many ways dubbing you as the expert. Knowing the value of an introduction, we have put together a few keys to nailing the moment.
Write it yourself.
The reality is, the best person to toot your horn is you. By writing your introduction, you are able to position yourself as the expert and set up your presentation before you ever step in front of the audience. While this may feel uncomfortable, most people tasked with giving your introduction will thank you. It allows them to sit back and enjoy the presentation while delivering you the perfectly designed handoff. This also allows you to maintain consistency with your platform and messaging – you’re introduced exactly how you want to be each and every time.
Highlight the past and present.
With many introductions, presenters focus on their past by highlighting their previous accomplishments. While this is important to show your expertise, it is also key to highlight what you are currently working on or participating in to show your continued relevance. By emphasizing projects you are currently in process with, you show that you are continuing to learn and become more of an expert in your field of study. In our fast-paced culture, the minute you stop learning, you become irrelevant, so be sure to show your audience you are still actively engaged in your content and at the forefront of innovation and discovery regarding your platform.
Include your humanity.
Introductions are the perfect chance for a presenter to highlight their humanity before ever stepping in front of an audience. Including a fun fact about yourself or insight into what you like to do in your free time is a way to break down barriers between you and the audience. It allows you to walk in to a relaxed atmosphere and begin a conversation rather than a high-stress, barrier-filled environment.
Introductions are often the last thing presenters think about. And if you are anything like me, they can feel uncomfortable and arrogant to craft. But they are a powerful tool to break down barriers and connect to your audience before you make your first point. So be sure to take some time and craft one today. The good news is, one great introduction can lead to lasting engagement and launch you into the highly regarded realm of thought leadership, rather than being perceived as a messenger of someone else’s works.
Do you have a presentation coming up? Contact the team at Ethos3 today to find out how we can help you knock it out of the park.
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