What to do before you step onto the virtual stage…

Two facts are true for any performance:
1)    The show must go on
2)    Life goes on independently of the show

When you get that last minute call from your boss or you read an incoming email from an irate customer, the show must still go on. Professional athletes, actors, musicians, and yes, professional speakers have some sort of pre-show ritual to get them into the ‘zone’ despite whatever life throws their way.

Have a routine

Whether it’s a breathing exercise, meditation, or a pep talk you give yourself in front of a mirror, develop a routine that shifts your mental energy to being ‘on stage.’

Have a checklist ..and own it

Something almost inevitably will go wrong. When it does, will you remember everything you need to do?  A checklist can help you remember things like having a glass of water ready or more important things like shutting down all desktop applications.

Whether you make a checklist of your own or the webinar planner provides you with one (or it’s a combination of the two), own it. Review it and organize it so that it 1) makes sense in a way that you see how one task flows into the next, and 2) so that it has a sense of timing.

Have a backup copy of your slides

There are two reasons to print a copy of your slides:

Risk Management: It’s not a matter of if, but when you’ll experience an internet slow-down or some other kind of latency or visual freeze. When it happens, you’ll want a copy of your slides on had to refer to. In addition to a backup copy, you’ll want a teammate on standby to advance slides if something goes wrong.

Access to Notes: Print the ‘notes’ version so that all those annotations and reminders are at your fingertips. Moving all that text off your screen makes room for you to use the tools that help you keep an ‘eye’ on your audience. Investing in your audience is investing in your success.

Take a moment to slow down

As show time nears, your adrenaline may start pumping and you’ll have a tendency to speed up. The challenge is that you risk breezing past important points. In getting ready for the mic, practice slowing down.

Have a cup o’…never mind

Caffeine can compound the affects of adrenaline. If you take in a lot of caffeine, you probably don’t notice the effects it has on your nervous system. Even if it doesn’t give you the jitters, it may affect you in other ways like making vocal variation more difficult to control. Moderate your caffeine intake before a show.

The bottom line

As inevitably as the show starts it also inevitably ends. If you’re rehearsed your presentation, and spent some time ‘backstage’ getting ready, you’ll have fun and you’ll deliver like a rock star. The audience came to see what you have to say, and if you’re doing things the 1080 Group way, you’ll have an experience for them that will knock them off their socks.

Go be a rock star.

Guest post by Katie Stroud, a learning solutions engineer and 1080 Group rockstar. Learn more about her here.

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