8 Ways to Take the Fear Out of Public Presentations.
Have you ever wondered how confident and engaging speakers seem to do it so easily? Are they born with their skills? If so, then I’ve missed out!
Read these following 8 tips to help you create not only good presentations but memorable presentations.
Make your message clear.
Too often too much information is included in the presentation. It’s overkill and tiring. Be discerning about what you choose to include. More important than the amount is clarity and logical sequence of the information.
- Research your subject thoroughly.
- Between 5 and 7 key points as maximum
- Ensure your speech follows a logical beginning, middle & end
- Preparation is key to success!
Master your nerves!
It’s good to know that everyone gets nervous before a presentation – even those who are experienced and well prepared. The secret is how the nerves are managed. Try these:
- Visit the room of your presentation before the session so you’re familiar with your surroundings.
- Mingle with participants before the session. It will ‘warm up’ your thoughts.
- Dress appropriately and comfortably.
- Use pause to manage pace and control (a little breathing technique helps)
- Prepare well – if you’re confident with your subject it’s really only the fear of unknown.
Smile and your body will relax.
Be aware of body language
Be aware of your body language. Yours will affect the way in which the audience views your presentation. Have you ever been in the audience when the presenter has been negative, hesitant or defensive? You miss the message and concentrate more on the delivery.
- Be aware of body language – yours & the audience’s. Adjust your delivery in response.
- Move with purpose and control.
- Introduce variation into the presentation rather than ‘talk at’.
Likewise if you’re aware of the body language of the audience you can adjust your delivery to increase their interest.
It may seem obvious, but keep it interesting!
We’ve all been to presentations when all you want to do is escape from the room! In fact your mind escapes well before you do. You think about everything else you prefer to be doing other than sitting there and listening. What was that presentation about anyway?
- Keep your presentation simple -between 5 – 7 key points related to one overarching theme.
- Use visuals & media to support your points – video interviews, pictures, drawings.
- Ask questions and receive audience questions with acceptance and openness.
Remember a good speech keeps the audience interested, but a great speech engages the audience emotionally and thoughtfully.
Be true to yourself
Try to be yourself. This is not the time to be other than what you feel comfortable with. You don’t need to be the amazing comic if that’s just not you. Without doubt the audience will see straight through you.
- Be yourself at all times
- Present yourself in a manner to suit the occasion – professionally and comfortably.
- Don’t be a fake. Be honest and sincere in your opinions.
Be comfortable in being you and your audience will relax too.
Help! What happens when things don’t go to plan?
We all have these thoughts of the unexpected occurring. The power goes off! You forget your notes or the handouts. You leave your jacket/shoes/etc in the car. …. and so on.
Much of this can be overcome by careful preparation but the unexpected can occur too.
- Visualise what you might do in this situation beforehand. This helps reduce the anxiety in the real situation.
But more importantly remember that the audience isn’t expecting perfection – it’s live – use the unexpected with humour and confidence.
Make a difference with your message.
You’ve been chosen to make this presentation. There were others who could have been chosen – they are perhaps even in the audience. Make your presentation worthwhile listening to.
- Your presentation is not all there is on the subject. You provide a fragment of information to tempt further engagement with the topic.
- It’s not over when your speech is done. Your message should provide opportunities for further discussion or investigation.
- You can provide further information of reading materials, related topics or opinions to explore.
You have the chance to present information in a memorable and interesting way – to engage your audience.
You don’t have to do this on your own.
- Watch and learn from others.
- Join public speaking groups or professional associations
- Get help from a coach!
Good luck and have fun!
Author: Dianne Rowe
For other posts by Dianne, visit Rowe & Co View Point Blog