10 Tips on Presenting Yourself Professionally in the Music Business
As you prepare your music, your business, and your plan, the last step comes down to your presentation. Whereas people invest in a business, in the arts, they also invest in the people. All the more reason it’s important to have the ability to present and carry yourself well.
A confident walk that carries a confident body makes all the positive difference in the world. One of the first things that people see is your posture and your walk when you go into a meeting, so make it count. Start off on the right foot with the right step and the solid posture to support it.
The tone of your voice can be altered in bad posture. When you stand straight with solid posture, even your voice has a cleaner tone. Don’t underestimate the power of physical projection.
Your volume speaks volumes
The volume of your voice truly speaks volumes about your confidence and your ability to connect, project, and communicate. When you talk too loudly, it gives off a sense of fear and lack of confidence mixed with trying to overcompensate. When you speak too softly, it highlights the same fear in a different way and a passiveness that can turn people away.
The consistency of the volume of your voice subliminally presents a confident person delivering something solid. Be seen as someone who presents a well-equalized and decent volume in their voice.
Uhs, ums, ohs, and stuttering
Avoid uhs, ums, ohs, and stuttering. By rooting yourself in your belief and confidence in whatever project, concept, or idea you’re pitching and feeling the security to allow for pauses, silence, and breaks, you can raise the assertiveness and project a much stronger foundation for your presentation and your ability to present that much more professionally.
Trust yourself and allow for spaces, a breath, and even silence to occur without feeling that the given space has to be filled.
Education for the presentation
This is one of those due diligence type of pieces to the puzzle of your overall presentation. You may have prepared and educated yourself on the pitch or solicitation, but make sure you know about the people you’re talking to, the company you are pitching, or the history of those who can help you achieve the results you’re looking for.
With all the time that goes into preparing and building that rock-solid, impress-them-all presentation, leave the time to learn and educate yourself on the people, the companies, and the products that those people and companies put out. Educate yourself on the key names, history, and success of that company, person, or organization.
Pre-production for pre-presentation
A week before a Skype or video call, a phone meeting, or a face-to-face meeting, take in a rehearsal or two. Try a role-play-type scenario and test the waters. Get a friend you trust or business person you know and ask them to play the role of a skeptical, doubting, but slightly interested person who has agreed to hear you out.
Ask them to be honest, critical, as well as doubtful and very apprehensive. This dry run can help you test out how you present as well as allow you feedback on how you came off from someone other than the person or people who you plan to approach.
Adapting, improvising, and resonating with a room
It’s your responsibility to adapt, adjust, improvise, and resonate with those who you’re meeting. Your ability to relate and reset to resonate with the people around you will help those people feel both comfortable with you and with the idea, investment, concept, or pitch you’re sharing.
Regardless of how formal or relaxed a situation is, adjust to the situation, but stay professional. Even if it shifts to a buddy-buddy type meeting, you’re there for business.
Other side of the coin: empathy
Realize that the majority of people you meet as you present and solicit your pitch have heard it all before. And they’ve heard it a lot. A great element to practice is that of empathy and seeing things from the other side of the coin with the person or people you are talking to.
This relating and understanding of their point of view and their experience enables you to make the experience all the stronger for yourself and what you are asking for.
Confidence without arrogance
Confidence and assertiveness in a presentation are two attributes that make any presentation that much better, but keep them in check and don’t let them run out of control into arrogance and belligerence. Your ability to present in a way that excites, draws people in, and engages people comes from the confidence you have in your project and in yourself.
Being a little nervous and a shaky before delivering a pitch is one thing, but if you don’t have the core confidence to deliver a presentation, get someone else to deliver it or spend a little more time honing it so you can deliver with the confidence it requires.
The little things
The following is a simple checklist of the little things to address to add that extra punch of professionalism to your presentation:
Shine those shoes or clean those sneakers.
Present your clothes as clean and well cared for. Regardless of what you’re presenting in, iron garments that can use ironing. Avoid looking overly wrinkled or sloppy.
Trim and clean your fingernails.
Shower and relax on the cologne or perfume.
Clean your phone. Clean your keys. Clean your laptop.
Talking with, not to or at, people
There’s a big difference in talking with someone, talking to someone, and talking at someone. It might be seen like semantics, but it goes much further and that’s why it’s the last tip for presentations. Although you’re doing a great deal of the talking in a given presentation, solicitation, or pitch, keep in mind how you’re talking.