Be Present with Your Audience
by Dana Bristol-Smith

How many times have you given a presentation and you realized that your mind had been somewhere else? You might have been thinking about that deadline that was looming over head. Or, about that new restaurant you were going to try for lunch later that day. Or, you wished you were somewhere else, anywhere else.

Do you think your audience could sense your lack of attention or desire to be there with them? Unfortunately, the answer was yes.

Every time you give a presentation it's essential that you be 100% present with your audience. If people are taking time out of their busy day to listen to you, you've got to treat them with respect and make sure that your presentation is a valuable use of their time. If you are there to read PowerPoint slides, give everyone a break and just email the file and don't bother giving a live presentation. Your presence has to add to the presentation.

This 3-step process adapted from Lee Glickstein's book Be Heard Now! will allow you to be fully present and will even calm your nerves and anxiety.

1. Feel your feet on the ground.
Do this as you are at the front of the room beginning your presentation, just notice the sensation of your feet on the floor.

2. Breathe.
Most importantly, notice that you are breathing. Anxiety will sometimes have you hold your breath.

3. Speak every word to the eyes and heart of another human being.

This is how you connect with your audience and show them the respect they deserve.

Remember, as simple as this sounds, it's not. It takes awareness and practice. The benefit is that you will appear and feel more confident and connected to your audience and they will sense the difference.

About the Author
Dana Bristol-Smith is the founder of Speak for Success, an organization that works with companies that want their people to communicate with confidence and credibility. You can email Dana