If you are the Speaker
Remember, there is no substitute for the 3 P’s—preparation, practice and passion. Let the audience see and feel your enthusiasm.
- Remember to smile, especially at the beginning and end of your remarks.
- Speak from your heart and experience. Use simple, clear language that is easily understood. Share your own library story.
- Do your homework. Find out about your audience: who will be there, how many, ages, education, income, any special interests or concerns about the library. Tailor your remarks accordingly.
- Follow the “golden rule” of public speaking: Tell your audience what you are going to tell them, then tell them, and then, in your conclusion, tell them what you told them.
- Have a clear message and call to action. Tell them why your message is important to them and what it is exactly that you want them to do.
- Share stories and examples of how the library makes a difference.
- Use large type for your notes or script.
- Be prepared to answer questions, especially the ones you’d rather not answer.
- Use but don’t depend on videotapes, overhead transparencies or PowerPoint Presentations. Arrive early to check equipment.
- Be brief—no more than 20 minutes plus questions.
- Thank the audience for listening, the opportunity to speak and their support.
Preparing the presentation
- Analyze my audience and prepare my key message.
- Plan my introduction and conclusion.
- Prepare an outline with supporting points and benefits, stories and examples.
- Plan handouts and visual aids.
Dealing with anxiety
- Write out my speech.
- Make notes in margins.
- Rehearse the speech.
- Visualize myself giving a successful presentation.
- Arrive early and check out the room, test equipment.
- Breathe deeply just before speaking.
- Anticipate questions and prepare answers.
Delivering the presentation
- Be aware of what I'm saying and how it sounds.
- Be enthusiastic, animated and conversational.
- Use a clear, strong voice.
- Pace my presentation.
- Talk—not read.
- Repeat questions to clarify and answer to the whole group.
Looking the part
- Dress in a businesslike way.
- Stand up straight.
- Use gestures.
- Jacket and tie for men
- Suit with open collar blouse for women
- Vibrant colors like blue, teal, rose, red and burgundy
- Bold plaids, large or busy prints
- Colors that are very dark or very light
- Noisy or dangling jewelry
- A hairstyle that needs constant attention
- Sleeveless or low-cut blouses or dresses