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.

Speaker’s checklist

Preparing the presentation
I will:

  • 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
I will:

  • 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
I will:

  • 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
I will:

  • Dress in a businesslike way.
  • Stand up straight.
  • Use gestures.
  • Smile.

Dressing do's

  • Jacket and tie for men
  • Suit with open collar blouse for women
  • Vibrant colors like blue, teal, rose, red and burgundy

Dressing don'ts

  • 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

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