While going to conferences can be an enjoyable experience, speaking at them can be riddled with nerves, overwhelm, and anticipation. But the big stage does not have to feel intimidating.
The key is to get comfortable with what is less familiar.
This means the best preparation it to get comfortable with…
This doesn’t mean sticking to or memorizing a complete script! Start by creating a high-level flow of your talk. You can fill in the details as helpful, but the goal is to practice from a bulleted outline. This will not only free you from having to memorize your whole talk (hard to do!), but will also help you come across as relatable – and not robotic – when you share your story.
Even if you can’t physically get on the stage before you present, find out the environment specifics ahead of time. How will the stage be set up? How will the audience seats be arranged? Where will the big screens be? Where will you enter and exit? Will there be a confidence monitor? The more you know about the setup, the more comfortable you will be. Guaranteed.
Your stage style
Just because you are on a bigger stage, it doesn’t mean a bigger or different you has to deliver your presentation. Remember, audiences connect with, and are influenced by, what is authentic.
Although standing under those bright lights may not be your favorite place to be, focus on getting comfortable with what’s new. Then, allow yourself to embrace the big stage as your platform to share your story.
Cue the applause!