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How to Make a Good First Impression

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How to Make a Good First Impression
Leaving a Good Impression Before & After You Speak!

Making a Good First Impression Article Trust - The Only Way to FlyThe big day is finally here. You have crafted an interesting and honest presentation, you practiced until you are comfortable and know you won’t exceed your allotted time. But what can you do before and after your presentation to make sure you connect with the audience and leave a good impression?

Before Your Presentation
Dress Appropriately. Make sure your wardrobe suits not only the whole event but you’re specific talk. Bring a complete backup outfit just in case.

Arrive early. No matter what the venue, give yourself plenty of time to arrive there and prepare for your talk, especially if you have audio/visual equipment to set up. If you’re speaking at an event where there will be other speakers, listen to as many of them as you can. Get a good look at the space where you’ll be speaking. Are there any physical factors that will effect your talk? Do you have all the equipment you need? Get a feel for the emotional atmosphere and ask yourself, “How can I contribute to what’s going on here?” When possible, mingle and chat with your audience before you speak. It will give them a chance to get to know you as a person and build trust. Karen Susman, professional speaker, coach, and author says, “Visit with audience members before your presentation. You’ll learn what’s going on and you’ll gather allies.”

After Your Presentation
More Mingling. Now that they’ve heard you, give your audience a chance to talk to you. Shake hands with people as they’re leaving. Susman instructs speakers to, “Be available. If you’re rushing or packing up your equipment, anyone who wants to speak with you will feel disregarded. Listen to people. If you have to vacate the stage quickly to make room for the next speaker, tell fans you’ll meet with them in the hall or at the reception.” Also feel free to use this time to build relationships and network. If an audience member asks a question that deserves an extensive answer, offer to e-mail them about it. Offer to sign people up for your monthly newsletter. But if you promise something Susman instructs to, “follow through by promptly sending out the requested material.” After that go and celebrate your hard work and careful preparation!

For more of Karen's good advice, see http://www.karensusman.com/articles/connect_to_audience.htm

Ashley Barrett is a professional writer, editor, and researcher for ProProducts™

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Two ProPresenters™ side by side, one unfolded and the other folded.The ProPresenter™ - Our tabletop podium.

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