“The mind is a wonderful thing. It starts working the minute you are born and never stops until you get up to speak in public.” – Roscoe Drummond
Public Speaking can be very stressful. We all get even a bit anxious when we need to speak in public, no matter if we’re beginners or professionals. The more prepared we get, the more confident we feel. There’re a few things we should remember when it comes to giving a presentation:
1) get to know your audience – do some research about your potential audience. Adjust your vocabulary to their age and professional background.
2) adjust your presentation – we’re all different. It’s important to adjust the way you present to all types of people. Some of us are visual and pay attention to pictures or colors. Others pay attention to the sound of your voice. Don’t talk the entire time with the same voice tone. Some more important things you could say with a little bit higher tone. And the third category are kinesthetic. They pay attention to our body language.
3) use some humor – begin the presentation with a dose of humor. Let it be an ice breaker. It’ll give your presentation a personal touch. With this approach you’ll get people’s attention and bond with them much better.
4) improvise – people tend to learn every single line by heart. Wrong! It’s so visible when a person just talks like a robot. Be natural and relaxed. If it happens you forget something, not a big deal. Go back a sentence or two, make a small revision of it (it’ll give you some time to think) and move on. If you still haven’t remembered, just move forward. Trust me, people won’t even notice you forgot. If they do notice, don’t appologize. Just make a small joke about it. It’ll be a fun moment for everyone.
5) don’t use your hands too much – it’s okay to use our hands when we want to put the stress on something which is important. However, if our arms are flailing all the time, people won’t be listening to us. The best thing to do is to create a small invisible square and just keep our hands in that area. If you don’t know what to do with them, use a pen or marker and keep it in your hands.
6) make an eye contact – take a look at the audience from time to time. They’ll believe you more and it’ll make you more convincing and your presentation much more successful.
7) time limit – there’s nothing more boring than en endless presentation, regardless of how amazing it is. Don’t talk way too much. The best way is to end when people are amazed, instead of moving on and ruining the entire presentation.
8) leave space for questions – allowing people to ask questions is a good way of seeing if they actually listened to you. They’ll tell you what was good or bad and it’ll serve you as a good guideline and a piece of advice for your next presentation. You don’t have to wait the end of the presentation for the questions. You can allow people to ask you while you’re talking. You can even ask the audience a couple of questions. That’s how you’ll include them and encourage them to participate.