Throughout our careers it’s almost certain that we’ll have to deliver a presentation or two. Whether you’re pitching for new business, leading a project at work or speaking at an event, presentation skills are essential.
However, many people dread the thought of standing in front of a room full of people and speaking. Some people dread it so much that they’ll go out of their way to make sure that they’re not the ones who’ll be delivering.
This is definitely not the right approach to take. Honing your presentation and public speaking skills can really heighten your success. Personal branding is essential whether you’re working for someone else, or yourself. Public speaking is one of the quickest ways to validate yourself as an expert in the field. Providing you do it right.
The following tips will guide you through making a captivating presentation. One that gets your information across in an engaging manner. One that makes your audience recommend you to other people and look forward to your next speaking event.
As with anything in business, it’s essential that you’re well prepared before making your presentation. Know what points you want to put across and how you’re going to say it.
Can a lot of information be condensed into visuals? If so you should definitely get those made. It holds people’s interest and also makes it easier for you to remember all your main points.
Don’t leave anything until the last minute. Have everything well prepared and make sure you know what you’re trying to get out of this presentation, whether it’s new business or a better informed audience.
Practicing your presentation is key to make sure everything runs smoothly and it will actually lessen the amount of nerves you experience on the day.
Watch yourself in the mirror as you’re delivering your speech. Does it seem natural? Are you keeping good eye contact with your audience? How do you sound?
Try to watch and listen to yourself from the view of your audience. Find one thing to improve upon on your next recital and keep building.
You’ll be sick of it and be uttering it in your sleep, but this is how you make sure that your presentation is delivered in a smooth and confident manner.
Know Your audience
Why are these people here? Do they want to learn something from you? Are they working in the industry already? Are they trying to develop new skills? Are they trying to solve a problem?
Know why your audience are there and make sure you satisfy that need. If you’re there to land new business, simply stating why you’re the best people for that job isn’t going to cut it.
You need to show that you really understand the problem, the effects it can have and then deliver an in depth discussion as to what the solution is.
If you’re there to provide insight on a subject, make sure that’s what you’re doing. Your audience needs to feel like they have a much better understanding of the topic.
Stay away from negative statements in your presentation. Instead focus on the positives. People will be much more interested in successful outcomes and solutions whereas too much negativity will set the tone of your presentation.
If you have to go into negative statistics in your presentation, make sure you counter with solutions and positive outcomes. People like a happy ending so make sure you’re delivering one!
Also make sure that you’re coming across in a positive light as well. Smile lots and use open and positive body language throughout your speech.
Breath Deeply Beforehand
Taking a few moments to breathe deeply before you start your presentation allows you to feel more relaxed and keep better control of your voice.
Simply sit somewhere with your back against something solid and feet planted firmly on the floor. Breathe in deeply and exhale slowly for twice the length of the inhale.
Some people find that visualizing a relaxing place also helps to calm the nerves you feel right before you start.
Take Your Time
Don’t rush it, speak slowly. One of the biggest tells that someone is nervous is that they rush from point to point, getting through their presentation as quickly as possible and feeling relieved at the end when they haven’t forgotten anything.
This makes for uncomfortable viewing. Your audience needs time to understand and digest what you’re telling them. You also need to be loud and clear so they’re not straining to hear you.
Don’t worry about making mistakes, they’re natural. When you’re speaking for a long time you’re bound to get tongue tied or briefly forget the next part. Just relax, laugh it off and you’ll recall the information much more quickly.
Most importantly, be you. People have come to see you talk or are watching your presentation to see if you’re the kind of person they want to work with.
Being authentic builds trust whereas if you’re trying to copy someone else it’s not going to seem natural. Do what you do best and get your information out there.
Audiences will warm to someone much quicker when they’re sincere and it doesn’t seem like they’re holding back or portraying themselves as someone that they’re really not.