For every speaker the audience’s perception of you can either be positive or negative. From the moment the audience begins to experience your speech, every audience member will begin to form a mental image of you. Your job is either to confirm or to change the audience’s perception.
If you hand out a brochure that is poorly designed, has spelling and grammatical errors, you are telling your audience who you are. You are telling everyone that you are not a person who pays attention to details. You are saying that you do your job in an amateurish way.
If you walk out on stage showing a lack of confidence, sweating with nervous twitches, you are telling your audience who you really are. You are saying in essence that you don’t think you can handle what has been asked of you. Obviously if you thought you were capable of handling the job, you would exude confidence. You would show energy of confidence rather than of fear.
Whether you are a professional speaker or someone who speaks because of your profession, you must realize that everything you say, do, or produce contributes to people’s perception of your ability, skill and most importantly value as a person.
My question to you is: at the end of your speech, did you prove your audience was right or wrong?