So often we begin a speech by thanking the audience or someone in the audience for asking us to speak. This small (arguably unnecessary gesture) perhaps unknowingly puts the speaker in the mindset of being a guest. The speaker subsequently must ingratiate himself to the "hosts" - the audience.
The speaker pulls back. After all, it's difficult to fully be yourself when you're a guest in someone's home. Particularly, if you don't know the hosts well.
Stephanie Scotti, author of the blog, Speaker Notes, offers this excellent piece of advice:
Transform the Room... Close your eyes for a moment and shift your thinking. This is no longer a ballroom, or a boardroom, or a trade show hall…it’s your living room. And the audience, each and every one of them, is a welcomed guest.Just as you would greet guests arriving at your home, adopt the same attitude in welcoming listeners to your presentation. This simple change of perspective allows you to project confidence and manage the dynamics of the room. Because, after all, you’re the host.
From the Green Room: Instead of thanking the audience for inviting you, welcome them to your presentation. In an instant, you are no longer a guest, but rather the host - with a wonderful presentation to offer each of your guests who have come to hear you.