7 last-minute prep tips for speakers

Long-term preparation of your presentation is essential, of course, but the minutes and even seconds before you stride out to face the audience are just as important.

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What do you do just before you take the stage?

I’m often asked about how to get ready for a presentation. I say, prepare a great speech, rehearse the content and body language, and work on your unconscious mental state, but all that should take place in the weeks-even months-running up to a speech.

What about in the moments before a speech? Is there anything you can do to get ready, increase your chances for success, and give yourself an extra jolt of charisma before you go out on stage? Following are seven last-minute prep tricks to try:

1. Talk to yourself. Self-talk is sometimes maligned as too “woo-hoo,” but it is effective. The bad news is that follow-up research has shown Amy Cuddy’s power poses to be ineffective. So it isn’t enough just to stand tall; you also have to think tall, and that’s where self-talk comes in. Find and repeat a positive mantra. It will keep the negative thoughts away, and that will increase your confidence.

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