Great leadership requires great communication skills.
And one of the most challenging forms of communication is presenting in public!
Hosting a work or group presentation often comes with a great deal of anxiety attached. Many people do not like to stand up in-front of groups because they wonder how they are going to sound and if the audience will enjoy the presentation.
Fortunately, preparing yourself to properly articulate words and capture the attention of your audience will help to chase some of these fears away.
5 Tips to Positively Powerful Presentations
Plan The Right Way
Speaking extemporaneously is a gift that some people have. However, chances are you don’t have this talent if you are afraid of public speaking. Start drafting ideas for the presentation once you receive the assignment. By having at least a structure in place when you sit down to complete the bulk of the work, the presentation itself won’t seem so overwhelming.
Use notecards if permitted during the actual speech, and put cue words and phrases on them. Writing out your entire presentation and reading it word-for-word is not the best idea. Not only will the speech sound robotic, but you will be more focused on reading a single word than anything else.
Use Audience Interaction
Think about what you like when you go to a presentation or listen to a speech. Sitting in silence for a lengthy period isn’t fun for even the most attentive of audience members. Find a way to incorporate audience interaction into your presentation.
For example, you might start by asking a question of the larger group, or, if time permits, plan out an activity where the audience divides into smaller groups to discuss an issue.
You could have them fill out surveys or answer quiz questions as an ice breaker or as an introduction to the topic you are going to discuss.
Harness The Power of Visual Aids
Visualization is an extremely important component of a strong presentation. Audience members can hear what you are saying, but that doesn’t mean they will retain or fully comprehend the information. A presentation that delves into statistics needs to have charts and graphs to properly display them.
You can pass this information around to the audience members so that they have copies to take home. Use pictures to depict a new plan for a management team, or show images and video clips of a new product or service that your company is launching.
Know How to Speak
Even if you have spent the last few months preparing and you have the coolest graphics in the world, people aren’t going to listen if you don’t have some basic speaking skills in your pocket.
- Your voice needs to be loud and clear enough for everyone in the audience to hear.
- Looking into the audio devices available well in-advance of the presentation date is wise.
- Make eye-contact with the audience members.
- Know what language the audience speaks, and do not use words that they are unlikely to understand.
- Find a tone somewhere between boringly formal and overly casual that addresses your goals while engaging the audience.
Strong Introduction and Conclusion
You want to make sure people are listening when your speech starts, and you want to make sure that they take something away from it when it is over.
- Use a hook question or a quotation to grab their interest at the start.
- When you near the end, reiterate your main points, and let them know how to contact you for more information.
- Opening up a question and answer session helps audience members to recognize you care about their absorption of the material.
- If you are selling something, give free samples.
Being a Trained Professional
Creating a strong presentation is important because this is the first impression you’re providing to the audience members. Using these tools helps to let the audience see that you are a trained professional who cares about his or her purpose and goals in the presentation.
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Image Sources: brilliant-workshops.co.uk