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10 Things About What It’s Like to Speak at a Conference

speaking tips
September 2019

1. Embrace the free advice.

You really should participate in the NAA speaker webinar. Although you may think you do not have questions, they provide you with great direction and other participants bring up items that you may not have even thought about.

2. Like, Um… Really?!

You will never be more aware of how often you say “um,” “like,” “you know” or “right.” It will be distracting and you’ll have an internal battle trying to prevent yourself from saying it again, you know? And just like that, it happened again.

3. Practice really does make perfect.

Sure, you created your content and are an expert on it, but don’t assume you can coast through a presentation. The audience will see right through you. And remember speaking to a group of people is far different than speaking in a group of people.

4. Take the edge off.

Drinking before a presentation is typically frowned on, but only if you get caught! Totally joking… or am I? Seriously, find something that helps you relax for just a bit right before you get on stage.

5. All eyez on me.

You know that ’80s song by Rockwell… “I always feel like, somebody’s watching meeeee.” They are! Know that some people will feel you and some will just look at you with complete confusion. You can’t please them all.

6. It’s getting hot in here.

You will sweat. In. All. The. Places.

7. Don’t commit shoe-icide.

Listen Linda, we all want to make sure our outfit is on point, but still make sure you are comfortable. Oh, and know that you will probably pack a few outfits and end up buying a whole new one the day before.

8. Don’t stress... Do you Boo!

Can’t lie, the stress is legit! You will never sleep as poorly as you will the night before a speaking assignment. But once you utter those first few words and realize you're not terrible, you will feel a huge sigh of relief. You will get into a groove and things will just flow!

9. Bye Felicia!

A glass of your favorite adult beverage never tastes as good as it does when you’re toasting a speaking appearance that’s come and gone. Oh, and remember that poor sleep you had the night before? You will never sleep as soundly as you do the night after it’s over.

10. But did you die?

I didn’t actually die. As much as I went into speaking kicking and screaming, I put my big girl pants on and got it done. And I enjoyed it. And I didn’t die. And I actually might consider doing it again.