Own the Room It's not about the presenter but more about the audience...

You attend a conference and are immediately enthralled and transported by the speaker. Her message and the way she says it align with your core values and beliefs. Eliciting this reaction is not foreign to people who are confident in their abilities and who know how to project their vision. This is what Bill Hoogterp, Chief Product Officer of Own the Room/Blue Planet Training calls “Owning the Room.”

Hoogterp asserts that the most important element to remember when presenting or speaking in a formal setting is to grab the spotlight and redirect it. In other words, once you grab the mantle of power, you have control and can do with it what you wish.

In essence, redirecting the spotlight refers to an action that draws the attention away from you, the speaker, and towards the audience, a chart, an object, or a particular person.

This is an interesting concept because people generally see themselves as the center of attention when they are presenting or speaking in front of groups. Being the center of attention ultimately, makes many people feel uncomfortable. Hoogterp, however, argues that the presentation is not about the presenter but more about the audience, their reaction, and their intake of information.

To be able to own the room, it is critical that you practice and seize every opportunity to present, speak up, and shine. At first, you may feel uncomfortable but the process eventually becomes second nature. Like any other skill, it needs constant use. Only with exposure and practice are speakers able to grow, increase their confidence and be able to command a room.

How to practice public speaking skills

1. Get rid of weak language such as “um, basically, let me start by saying, at the end of the day, what I’m trying to say.”

2. Use strong language to illustrate a clear picture and vision. According to Hoogterp, strong language is best used when the speaker wants to make a connection and touch on emotions. Keep it simple and be direct.

Key Takeaways

1. Your job is to grab the spotlight – do it!

2. The first few times will be uncomfortable and you might even make mistakes – it’s okay, that’s how you learn!

3. Your presentation is not about you – it’s about the audience.

4. When you have the chance to lead, speak up, or shine – take it!


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