Studies show that 75% of all people experience some degree of anxiety or nervousness when it comes to public speaking. Surveys about our fears commonly show that fear of public speaking tops the list, as our fear of standing in front of a group and talking is greater than even the fear of death. Here, we share some tips about how to give a presentation like a pro!
Preparation doesn’t just mean standing in front of the mirror and running through your presentation repeatedly. Being prepared with your content is a given, but a good speaker needs to know their audience and what they expect and hope to take away from the presentation. Obviously, a presentation before a roomful of CEOs will differ from a roomful of assembly workers.
BONUS: Know your presentation space! Problems arise when speakers find themselves in a room that’s too big, too crowded or not set up properly. Make sure you check out the space where you’re going to be presenting in advance to see any limitations and solve them prior to taking the stage.
Many presenters begin by stating their name before uttering, “Let’s get started.” This stale approach could begin an hour-long snooze fest. If you start your presentation with a boring tone, you’ll lose your audience before you start. In an era of engaging entertainment, you need to start with a bang. Incorporate a compelling quote, story, stat or question to engage your audience and then introduce yourself and your topic.
BONUS: Don’t feel you have to stand behind a podium if there is one; it can become a barrier between you and the audience and make you appear stiff. If you’re comfortable and the space permits, walk around a bit and gesture naturally. It will help keep the attention on you and make the audience more comfortable as well.
Conversation, Not Presentation
When planning your presentation, you should have a couple of points where you plan for an interaction with the audience. This makes your presentation more useful and interesting for audience members. A conversation allows the audience to ask questions and talk to you like a human, rather than a presentation robot.
BONUS: Great presenters can tell stories that captivate the attention of the audience. Stories shouldn’t be told just for the story’s sake, they need to illustrate key points of your presentation, which helps make your presentation memorable.
When it comes to presentation design, there is often a confusion between beautiful design and effective design, and when to use each. If you are presenting in front of a room full of interior designers, you may want to make sure you add a little artistic flair, while a room full of lawyers may care more about the content of your speech rather than the design. You need to have a clear idea of your message, your audience and your delivery style.
BONUS: Your visuals should enhance your presentation, not repeat it. Avoid cramming so much onto each slide that the audience can’t read it. Reduce each slide down to its essence, and go into detail during your remarks.
Market Mentors Is Here to Help!
Every professional speaker benefits from coaching to help with presentation skills. At Market Mentors, we can help you learn better presentation skills, plan your presentation effectively, offer design suggestions–or design the presentation top-to-bottom–and give you all the tools to become a presentation professional!
Recently, our president, Michelle Abdow, was invited to speak at the 2018 ADAM Annual Meeting and delivered a presentation on All Things Media. By employing the tactics detailed in this blog, Michelle’s presentation was well-received. You can celebrate similar results. Contact us today to get started!