Monday, February 25, 2013

It Is All About the Performance

Whether you are already on air in the media or you are a business owner, blogger or author who is currently speaking to groups ( or soon plans to ) there are always a few things to keep in mind when you are putting your voice out there to the world. Performance is everything. Have a great one and people will think you have done a great job and remember you for your poise, presence and performance. Have a bad performance and people will remember you for that and that is likely not how you want people to remember you. You would rather have people remember you for your talent, your skill, your poise, your professionalism but a bad performance over shadows all that.

There are a few things you can do to pull off a flawless performance.

1. Know Your Stuff
No matter who you are it is important to actually know what you are talking about BEFORE you start talking to others about it. Be prepared. Do a little research before you actually get out in front of people.

2.  Keep Cards
Cue cards can really help to keep you on message. It is all part of the prep process. If you write down a few key points on some cue cards they will be easy to refer to just before the interview or speech. Keep the cards short and sweet and only for a quick reference just in case!

3. Practice
If you are speaking to a group or doing a media interview, practice what you plan to say. If you need, practice with family or friends. You can also record what you plan to say (audio, video or both) and then play it back to yourself just so you can hear how you sound. It can really help to eliminate some things you are doing you might not even know you do  like mannerisms, a funky tone in your voice or the over-use of words like "um", "eh").

4. Relax
It is really important to be calm. If you get too stressed out you will likely have a less than perfect performance. Do what ever you need to do to relax ahead of the speech, interview or panel. Sometimes taking a walk or meditating helps to shake off the nerves.

5. Think About It
Be mindful of what you are saying and how you are saying it. It can help you slow down, stop you from rambling and keep you on point and message.

6. When In Doubt...Pause
This is one of the things I tell my students. Sometimes it is better to just stop talking. This is a good tip especially when you feel you are rambling or straying off message or just stumbling and adding a lot of "ums". Just pause, collect your thoughts and pick up where you left off. Of course, if you are live on television or radio or in front of a crowd it should be noted we are talking about a very brief pause, we are talking a second or two not a minute or two. It shouldn't be long enough to make people notice.

What do you do to make sure you have a perfect performance? I would love to here your thoughts and advice.

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