The web has thousands of articles about what NOT to do in presentations. Let me make it easy for you with this master list of what to do in presentations.
Here are four steps to make your presentations instantly better:
- Utilize the available resources and educate yourself about what presentation delivery requires.
- Video yourself or have a colleague video you for analysis about individual habits such as movement or use of crutch words.
- Find a source to practice presentations regularly, and consciously avoid your problem areas.
- Know that it takes time and sometimes an objective point of view, be patient and persistent.
14 Public Speaking Tips
Presentations take a lot to master; there are many different pieces that all must fit together to make a speech great. In addition, presentations take a lot of practice to master and even more self-awareness for improvement to continue.
Here are fourteen great tips to think about when it comes to making a presentation successful:
1) Learn From the Best – Find videos from some of the best speakers such as Steve Jobs and Bill Clinton, and take notes about what makes that speech excellent.
2) Take Pride in Appearance – A presenter’s appearance is partly what makes presentations successful. Audience members make assumptions based on appearance, and the first impression is important.
3) Location, Location, Location – Planning for a presentation should take up a majority of your time, but make sure you carve out some time to check out the room a day or more before you enter to deliver a presentation. Sometimes attendance is more than expected and the room setup can change in an instant and your strategy should change with it. Picture in your head where the screen should go and where you should place yourself for maximum effectiveness. This visit will also ensure you’re not late because you know where you were presenting, which will help calm any last minute nerves.
4) Avoid Liquid Courage – There are lots of reasons for giving a speech, and some of those occasions traditionally require liquid courage such as speeches at weddings and sometimes even funeral eulogy. Regardless of whether the speech is in front of family or if it is a make-or-break presentation for your company, liquid courage is never a solution.
5) Prepare – Presentations tend to be prepared at the last minute, leaving no additional time to attend to details. Give ample time to think through all aspects of a presentation, especially your strategy.
6) Practice! – Practicing can cure the majority of stage fright and since you prepared properly and practiced, you won’t need to stumble for information. Practice in front of a mirror, practice in front of your office staff, practice in the shower. Practice multiple times and be comfortable enough with your information, so the words begin to flow from your mouth, and you are not forcing anything.
7) Visualize Success – While practicing and even moments before you start, be confident that the presentation is going to be great. Success is made with visuals of yourself as an accomplished speaker.
8) Know Your Audience – While preparing for a presentation, know who you are talking to and consider learning styles of the professions and backgrounds of your audience members. It may be better to plan a presentation to hit the audience’s primary learning style if your entire audience is from a single profession. If your audience is from outside the field entirely, you’ll need to build your message starting with the basics.
9) Don’t Announce – It’s widely known that fear of public speaking, known as glossophobia, is America’s number one fear. Don’t announce your nerves or ever apologize for it. You may do the entire presentation feeling like a nervous wreck, and the audience will never know it. If those nerves are announced, then the audience is more attuned to the symptoms and more judgmental.
10) Slow Down – Talking fast can be a sign of nervousness or just a characteristic of an individual. Either way, you’ll need to be aware of your natural speaking habits and be aware of what it feels like to speak at the appropriate speed. Naturally fast talkers might feel as if they are talking like robots; it’ll feel awkward at first, but it will become more natural with practice.
11) Eye Contact – During conversations with friends, it is natural to look at them in the eyes. Eye contact is one way that the other person knows you are engaged with them. A lack of eye contact in a conversation means you are distracted or disengaged, and that’s how the audience feels when a presenter is looking at the back wall or the ceiling. A presenter must make eye contact with the audience members; it’s what makes presentations a two-way conversation and engages the audience.
12) Personalize – Presentations that are data ridden and cluttered with numbers doesn’t make the audience care. People care when a presentation is personal, and life is breathed into the data to mean something. Stories connect listeners, so use your stories or adapt stories you’ve heard to the situation.
13) Roll With the Flow – Mishaps are inevitable, just don’t draw attention to them. When presenters draw attention to the mistake or the unavoidable mishap, the attention goes away from the presentation content and onto the issue. Fix the error or adapt to the mishap and move on without announcing or drawing attention to the situation.
14) Time Management – Presentations happen at all hours of the day, and regardless of the start time, the audience has sacrificed a lot to be present. Give listeners the courtesy of not keeping them captive until the last minute or not holding them prisoner late. Presentations that run up to the last minute or late create a lot of stress on audience members who now have to run or be late to the next engagement. Be courteous and plan your presentation to end 10 minutes early, so there is leisure time for questions and discussion.
- Get my FREE guide, 6 Presentation Strategies to Increase Your Closing Rate 20%!
- Learn more about how my self-guided presentation training curriculum, SpeakU, can help you dramatically increase your effectiveness when speaking and close more deals.
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