INVEST IN PREPARATION
One of the factors that indicates that you actually care about the audience and the value you can provide them with, is the amount of preparation you put into your performance, which is, according to Spencer, of utmost importance.
“When Steve Jobs did a keynote, he spent 3 to 4 months planning it, checking everything weeks before his presentation – he was obsessed with preparation. When you go onto stage, you tend to focus on how you feel, but you’re not focusing on what’s going on in the room; is the audience engaged? So, the first big thing you need to do is invest time in practice. I regularly receive the question ‘how do you look so calm?’. I feel like a duck: it looks calm and graceful on the outside, but it’s going crazy on the inside. What the audience doesn’t know is that I turned up a day before the presentation and went through my presentation for 8 hours.”
And, believe it or not, that is not the only time Spencer invests in preparing for the stage. He invests in scripting his entire story, even though he doesn’t always fall back on his originally scripted presentation: “I allow myself movement, then there is no need for panicking. If I lose my way, I can quickly find it. When I survive the first minute, I’m fine. Memory champions use a memory palace, I use my apartment: you approach the front door and knock, that’s when you start introducing yourself.” Also, Spencer spends a lot of time researching ways to make his performance both enjoyable and memorable for his audience, since he considers his audience his focus point: “When I’m nervous, the saliva disappears from my mouth. You need to have a glass of water. If you don’t want to pause, you can bite on the tip of your tongue gently.