Delivering a presentation in front of a crowd can be a nerve-wracking experience that most people would love to avoid for their entire lives. However, this phobia of public speaking does not have to be as debilitating as you think. Overcoming the fear of speaking in public is easy. All it takes to cure yourself of this phobia is preparation and practice. You need to be consistent with the practice. You might even come up with your own presentation technique which is unique and works for you.
The best public speakers are built, not born. You can quickly acquire the skill set needed to turn any presentation you need to make into a success. It takes time, practice, preparation to polish this skill. You might come across very effective and influencer speakers who are just great at giving presentations and lectures but remember they didn’t perfect this art overnight. Here are some tips that you can use to prepare yourself and blow your audience away with a fantastic performance that earns you the contract.
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#1 Using the Right Tools
Having the power of audio visual tools at your disposal is a good but what matters more is how you use this aid. No doubt that a visual presentation will help you catch the attention of your audience easier and for long time when compared with just speech. The effectiveness of your presentation also depends on which softwares and tools you decide to use. There are many software applications available online to assist you in creating outstanding slides for your presentation. There are both online and offline tools available to make your presentation stand out. Canva is a free tool that you can use to build great slides by choosing custom or set templates that match your business theme, font, and colors. Use other applications to add interactive forms to your presentation that your audience can complete for feedback after the presentation. Other widely used softwares include Prezi & Microsoft PowerPoint. Modern technology has made building the perfect presentation an effortless experience.
#2 Own The Stage
When you step on stage, announce your arrival with a quirky anecdote or a brief humorous story. This strategy will help you become comfortable with the crowd and convey your authenticity. Remember to pull your shoulders back and lift your chin to help your voice travel throughout the room. If you make a mistake, move on as quickly as possible and hold any questions until the end of your speech. Your confidence level will for sure rise as you start speaking, your audience will also slowly start paying attention. Your own confidence level plays an important role in making your speech effective. Practicing will surely help you and prepare you to engage your audience. Asking questions (relevant to the topic) helps in keeping your audience engaged and keeping them attentive.
#3 Watch Your Body Language
Keep your hands at your sides and do not use excessive hand motions or gestures when you are speaking. Save the facial expressions and hand movements for parts of the presentation where you are trying to make a point.If you’re presenting on a stage, then use the width and walk from left to right slowly and confidently. As you move around, hold eye-contact with your audience for a few seconds. Never stare at any of the crowd as this can make them feel uneasy. Do not make long eye contact with a single person, look at a person only briefly for about 2-3 seconds. This will make your audience comfortable and enable you to cover everyone. This will also help you to avoid picking up any negative gesture or feedback from audience while you are giving the presentation.
#4 Practice as Much as You Can
The key to a perfect presentation is practice. Take every opportunity you can to practice before your big day. Ask friends and family if you can present to them and run through your slides while maintaining as a professional manner as possible. Act as if you are in the room on the day of your presentation and visualize your audience in front of you. The more you can do in preparation, the better. Practice in front of the bathroom mirror in the morning, or in the car on the way to work, the more you do, the better the presentation will be. Practicing will make your thought process clear, try to come up with few questions and be prepared with smart answers for them. There are few very general and obvious questions for which you can prepare yourself beforehand and answer more confidently.
Becoming a talented speaking professional takes time, dedication, and practice. A clear thought process helps you in delivering better presentation and tackling questions. Stay calm and cool. Your audience is there and willing to hear from you. Try to leave a good impression and leave them with some valuable information. Also, do not forget to invite their feedback as many people just love giving feedback! Try to take feedback in a positive manner and work on the negative aspects. Each presentation will provide you with new insights and keep exploring new ways to improve yourself. Keep in mind that everyone is different so prepare yourself to address different audience differently. Explore a bit about your audience such as their collective interests, age groups, affiliations, educational background if possible and make changes to your presentation accordingly. Try using these tips for your next presentation to increase your audience engagement and efficiently present your idea.