Presenting can be tough especially for those of us not born with natural eloquence. To be a better public speaker, one has to develop a personal speaking style. You can do this by packing the presentations with enthusiasm, unique data and having plenty of jokes and short stories relating to the topic.
How do you deliver a great presentation?
Rehearse your lines in various positions – standing up, sitting down, with arms open wide. The more you mix up your position and setting, the more comfortable you’ll feel with your speech. You can also do a practice run for your friend or colleague and evaluate areas that you need to work on. The more you practice, the more your confidence grows.
It’s always best to allow yourself plenty of time to settle in before your talk, preferably 45-60 minutes before your presentation. Extra time gives you a chance to check the room out and make sure the layout is the way you want it, to test and re-test all the equipment and ensure that everything works for you. Don’t trust the sound guy or computer tech who says, “I checked everything and it works fine.’’You also get a chance to do some meet and greet and this makes the attendees feel more at ease.
Smiling replaces anxiety with calm and makes you feel good about your presentation. Smiling also exhibits confidence and enthusiasm to the crowd. This tip works even if you’re doing a webinar and people can’t see you. Just don’t overdo it!
Work on Your Pauses.
When you’re nervous, it’s easy to speed up your presentation and end up talking too fast, which in turn causes you to run out of breath, get more nervous, and panic! Pausing helps to emphasise certain points and to help your talk feel more conversational. If you feel yourself losing control of your pace, just take a nice pause and keep cool.
Actively Engage the Audience.
People love to talk and make their opinions heard. Asking the audience what they think, inviting questions, and other means of welcoming audience participation can boost engagement and make attendees feel part of a conversation. It also makes you, the presenter, seem much more relatable. Don’t be put off by unexpected questions – instead see them as an opportunity to give your audience what they want.
Even if your presentation is packed with useful information, if your delivery bombs, so will your session. Include some jokes and light-hearted stories in your presentation to help you feel more comfortable especially when presenting a great deal of heavy information. .However, it’s important to maintain a balance.
Attend other presentations
Attending some of the earlier talks by other presenters give you a chance to scope out their presentation skills and get some context. Deconstruct their speech by highlighting their approach, tactics and execution. You can always borrow something from other speakers that you can use in your own presentations.