Having to deliver a presentation to people who are older than you, more important than you or more of an expert than you, can make you doubt yourself. To look more credible and authoritative, do the opposite of what a person lacking in confidence would do. Typically, they would:
Here are some tips to help you do the opposite and look credible and authoritative:
1. Focus on what you know
Don’t compare yourself with people in the audience who may know more than you. There’s always the potential for other people to know more about a topic than you, so this is a losing battle. Focus on why you’ve been asked to speak – your expertise or knowledge. For more on speaking to experts, see this post The four secrets to speaking with experts in the room.
2. Chat to the VIPs
Behave as if you’re the host or hostess of a party. Welcome people as they come in, and make a point of chatting to people whom you perceive as important or whom you find intimidating. This will turn them into human beings in your eyes, rather than objects of awe. And that will make it easier for you when you start your presentation. You’ll also build your credibility in their eyes.
3. Have someone else introduce you
Find someone that your audience respects to introduce you. This has two benefits: