Mastering the Art of public Speaking: Your Pre-Speech Routine is Vitally Important

By Spence Finlayson

NASSAU, Bahamas – Most successful public speakers all have a pre-speech routine that they follow on every speaking occasion.

I believe that your pre-speech routine is a precursor to a successful presentation.

My pre-speech routine begins from the moment that I am confirmed to speak at an event. I continuously reflect on the upcoming speech, making mental notes of what I would like to do during the speech.

I am a former national high school triple jump record holder in my native Bahamas and I have competed at major track and field meets in the US at the Florida Relays at the University of Florida in Gainesville and at University of Tennessee in Knoxville and of course for 5 years as a high school track and field athlete .  I have always had a pre-competition routine that worked very well for me.

And so as an international motivational speaker, I employ a similar pre-speech routine that has served me very well over the last 30 years.

Firstly, I have a laser like focus on the upcoming speech. I don’t allow anything to distract me. As a matter of fact the night before my presentation, I don’t sleep so well, my mind is constantly going over my speech. I eat well ahead of my presentation so I don’t fell lethargic and I am able to move about with plenty energy and dynamism. I only drink water and lots of it to keep hydrated.

On my way to the venue, I listen to uplifting Gospel music from Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir and Shekinah Glory. This sets me in the right frame of mind to begin my speech.

As a matter of fact, if I am able to, I ask the organizers to play ‘Order My Steps” by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir right before I come on stage.

5 things you should do in the 15 minutes before a presentation as a Pre-Speech Routine
  1. Say a prayer
    I usually speak to my creator asking for guidance and direction and for Him to speak through me. I end by saying ‘Your Will Be Done Today Lord”
  2. Check to see if your clothes are fixed properly.
    Yes, I make sure that my tie and pocket piece is fixed properly and my fly is not open. Also make sure that my shoes are well polished.  Make sure that my hair is combed.  These may seem simple and obvious but you would be surprised the number of speakers who come on with their shirt hanging out of their pants, the tie is not fixed properly and their fly is open which creates a huge distraction for the audience.
  3. Check out the conference room and the audio-visual equipment.

I make sure that if I am doing a power point presentation that the equipment is working well and everything is lined up ready to go. I also make sure that my microphone is working well. I prefer lapel microphones so, I get it tested before I go on stage. I make note if there is a raised platform or stage in the room, because I like to get close to my audience and I move around a lot.

If I am using a special song for my introduction, I make sure that it is the correct one and cued up. I use my theme song from my international motivational television show called Dare to Be Great or the theme song from Rocky, ‘Eye of the Tiger”

  1. Focus on good thoughts and my last successful speaking engagement.
    While I am sitting in the conference room, waiting for my time to come on, I think positive thoughts, reflecting on my major successes as a speaker in very large venues.
  2. Use the bathroom
    This is very important for me. The closer I come to my name being called to come on, I seem to need to use the bathroom and I do. So I am light and energetic and no thought of having to go .You see if you are having stomach problems because of anxiety, it will mess up your speech. I am in tune with my body and I know fully well how it works during these times so I pay lots of attention to this.
Pre-Speech Routine – Practicing and Rehearsing

Finally, practicing and rehearsing your speech will definitely help you to make a powerful presentation.

In the words of Martha Graham “I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each, it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one’s being, a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes, in some area, and athlete of God. Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.”

Spence Finlayson Speakers Academy - Mastering the Art of public Speaking: Your Pre-Speech Routine is Vitally Important

Spence Finlayson

Spence M  Finlayson, is an international conference speaker and the Founder & CEO of Master Motivator Spence Finlayson Speakers Academy. He is  a much sought after motivational speaker and has spoken in over 26 Foreign countries with 30 years experience. He can be reached at 242-677-0418 or by email at phoenixinstitute@gmail.com

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