Have you ever had to sit through an impossibly long, drawn out, boring as anything presentation? We all have! The last thing you want to be known for is the boring speech guy or gal. This is especially true if you have something important riding on the outcome of your performance.
Make sure you hit it out of the park with your next presentation by being prepared, clear, engaging and on point!
- Be thoroughly prepared. It seems like a no-brainer, but if you’re one of those people who doesn’t sweat this kind of thing, you still need to be very well prepared to give a presentation. There’s nothing worse than drawing a blank when standing in front of your audience or not knowing your stuff when fielding a question.
- Practice. It’s a good idea to practice your presentation in front of the mirror and in front of an audience. Watch how your delivery comes across and make adjustments as needed. Have others ask you questions so you can be prepared for what might come your way.
- Relax. Only a select group of people are truly at ease being in the spotlight. Try to relax by breathing deeply, focusing on the subject of your discussion and doing your best to enjoy the moment.
- Get excited! If you’re not psyched about your topic, why would anyone else be? Let your passion shine through your words and your body language.
- Keep it simple. Make your points by being clear and specific. Explain without rambling on, or you will lose your audience’s attention. It’s ok, (and even encouraged!), to include stories, but only if they are relevant, relatable and entertaining.
- Involve your audience. Eye contact is key in keeping your audience engaged. It’s also helpful to gesture toward your audience when making points or telling stories. Asking questions is another great way to pull others in.
- Use your voice and space effectively. Standing still, speaking in monotone is a definite way to lull your audience to sleep. Practice using your voice to show emphasis and the importance of certain subjects. Use your body to convey your message and direct your viewers’ attention to certain objects, slides, posters, etc.
- Start and end strong. Make sure your opening is strong enough to keep ‘em wanting to know more, and always end with a bang!