From a recent HBR article
When you’re preparing, think about your audience.
- Before diving into the information, ask yourself: Who will be in the room? Why are they there? What do they need? Be specific in your answers. Identify the audience’s needs, both spoken and unspoken, and craft a message that speaks directly to those needs.
Right before you speak, refocus your brain.
- Remind yourself that you are here to help your audience. Be firm with your brain. Tell yourself, “Brain, this presentation is not about me. It is about helping my audience.” Over time (usually between four and six presentations), your brain will begin to get it, and you will become less nervous.
While you’re speaking, make eye contact.
- The best way to connect to your audience is by speaking to them as individuals. How? By making sustained eye contact with one person per thought. (Each thought is about one full clause.) By focusing at one person at a time, you make each person in the room feel like you are talking just to them.