Speaking to an Audience: 5 Tips to Grab their Attention

Recently I had the opportunity to speak at the Dublin Web Summit about Website Performance.

Over 1,000 people attended the Summit, mainly entrepreneurs and techies.  It was a challenge to ensure that the topic would be of interest to everybody, but the presentation worked out well.

Enrico Foschi Presentation

Here are 5 tips that I’ve learned over the years from my public speaking experience:

  1. You are the focus, not the slides: the slides need to support your presentation, but should not be the main focus.  A few words per slide is more than enough.  This presentation on SlideShare has great tips for creating high quality and non-distracting slides.
  2. Know your stuff: make sure you know every single bit of what you are talking about and be prepared for questions from the floor.
  3. Be passionate about it: passion and enthusiasm are an absolute must to ensure that you capture the attention of the audience.
  4. Be prepared: how much time do you have?  Do you have slides?  Power Point or PDF?  Do you have a pointer?  Do you have an auto-cue?  Make sure to have answers prepared for these questions or your presentation may be negatively affected.
  5. Rehearse: for a 10 minute presentation,  I rehearsed for about 5 hours.  Do it in front of the mirror and in front of your friends.  Record and listen to yourself so that you improve your speech quality.

Talking to a vast anonymous audience is not an easy thing.  But, with plenty of preparation, you can have the confidence to succeed.

View my Dublin Web Summit presentation.

About Enrico Foschi

Front End Lead at SkillPages

Posted on November 18, 2011, in Tips and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Richard Praise Mo-allahyidi


  2. Being prepared is crucial. I must however contradict the notion that you can be prepared for every potentiallity in terms of questioning, you can not. There will be someone who asks that perfectly stupid question or even the reason, why, and you will not be able to answer according to your script. Like music, always go to your root note or starting point. What are you trying to get across, who are you trying to reach, why are you talking. Keep all the journalistic view points in mind and you will not be tossed for a loop. You are the master of your dissertaion.

  1. Pingback: Your Voice at SkillPages « SkillPages Blog