Public Speaking + Emergency Management

Does public speaking make you nervous? Emergency Manager’s present a lot to various audiences so if you have a fear of public speaking, here’s a few points to remember:

1.) Don’t worry about what your audience thinks. – You are in this position because you are a professional, you know your stuff and someone saw that you are extremely capable and responsible to be able to deliver this information. They are confident in your abilities and you should be to. Don’t worry about feeling that they (your audience) are judging you. If they knew this as well as you, they’d be up there presenting.

2.) Worry about what your audience thinks.  – The material you have is important so make sure you get all the key points across. These are the points to memorize, so put them in bold, on note cards, or highlighted in your outline. Put some calls to action in there as well for your audience to do, such as signing up for updates, leaving their email address, or contacting you later. Include a Q&A session if time permits. This allows you to judge how much info got across to them and if they are thinking beyond your message. When answering questions, if you don’t know the answer, promise to follow up with them afterward or via email. Use gestures and don’t strangle the podium.

3.) Don’t forget to breath. – Sometimes you can speed through all of your material without stopping that you forget to take a breath. After each slide or subheading or break in the presentation, take 15 seconds to take a few deep breaths and begin again.

The more you conduct public presentations, the more it (might) be easier for you. Make sure to practice a few times if you need to to become familiar with the material. If you have complex information to get out, try to break it down into bite-sized content that will make it easier to stick in your audience’s minds.

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