Starting your talk well, can really help with initial nerves.
I have spoken at events where they have given a long and detailed introduction of my professional credits, those where the intro has simply been my name, and some where there is no MC at all and I have been expected to just rock up onto stage and get started at the appointed hour. It is worth finding out how your particular event intends to approach this.
If they will be giving an introduction, and telling this audience a few things about you, check that they have accurate information. Are you still in the same role you were when you submitted to the conference? Have they fished up some outdated information from somewhere? Keeping your Notist biography up to date is a good way to make sure there is always accurate information to point someone to. You want to avoid starting your talk by correcting the host!
If you know that you will be introduced with accurate information then you can also remove that slide from your talk that tells the audience who you are or at least skip over the explanation, giving you more time to get into the information itself.
If they will simply be giving your name, or if you are expected to just get on with your talk unannounced then it is worth thinking about how you will introduce yourself. I’m not a fan of lengthy introductions, however to launch into a talk without explaining who you are, and why you have been asked to come and speak on the subject does seem a little bit like you expect everyone to know who you are. Your introduction can also set the scene for the angle you approach your subject, and position you as an authority on the information you are about to give.
Starting your talk well, can really help with initial nerves, so it is worth finding out exactly what will happen and preparing accordingly for each scenario.
Advent speaker tips: this is part of a series of tips for public speakers that we’re posting throughout advent. Check back daily during December for more.