It’s that time of year again! I know many of you are preparing to speak at conferences and present workshops or seminars.
From sweating palms to shaky voices, public speaking can be terrifying. Fear of public speaking is scarier than death and disease to many people; it ranks as the number one fear in the minds of the majority of people according to The Book of Lists.
Public speaking success is dependent on your ability to communicate effectively. Prepare for public speaking by utilizing these tips to deliver your message clearly and effectively.
Before Your Presentation
Know Your Audience – Focus on the needs of your audience by avoiding canned presentations. Customize your presentation to meet specific needs. Your presentation should be highly relevant to the issues, needs and concerns of the audience in front of you.
Determine Your Objective – Is it to sell, inform or educate?
Create A Compelling Presentation That Offers Value – Communication expert George Walther coined the term “power talk”. Incorporate power talk within your presentation to create credibility, value and expertise. >>>>>Watch a short video on “power talk.”
Eat properly – Avoid dairy products and large meals prior to speaking. Dairy products cause coagulation around your vocal chords, making you want to clear your throat.
Think About Your Voice – Concentrate and practice on your pitch, inflection, pace and articulation and pronunciation. Pitch and inflection are important in presenting a quality speech. A lower tone of voice will carry better than one of high pitch. Correct breathing will help you achieve a lower pitch.
Practice – Practice your speech by recording yourself. Use a tape recorder or a video camera. This is the best test you can do for yourself (and your audience). Avoid presenting a public speech at the same pace you would carry on a normal conversation. Public speaking should be slow (to an extent) and deliberate. Learn to enjoy silence! Experts in public speaking avoid sounds like “um, uh, er and aaah.”
Behind The Podium
State An Outcome – State an outcome or reason for your presentation. Doing so will prepare your audience to know what they should expect. Point out how your presentation will impact their life, solve a problem or provide them value.
Avoid Jargon – Even industry experts struggle with jargon. It is best to avoid slang. Clear and concise language will produce the best results for you.
Make It Fun – To stand out you need to capture the audience’s attention. Keep your delivery focused by creating energy and staying on track and on time.
Relax – Find your comfort zone and natural standing body position. Be relaxed and sincere. Insert personal anecdotes but avoid jokes.
Share Your Passion – Share your passion with your audience. Listeners won’t believe in what you are saying unless they are convinced you believe in it as well.
Visual Aides– Using visual aides is a great way to keep your audience engaged. Avoid relying on the slides to tell your story. Slides should provide structure for your presentation, not the details. Flip charts are another fun way to ensure audience participation.
Summarize – Summarize your presentation including the benefits of each topic.
Create A Call To Action – Avoid leaving your audience hanging. Create an exciting call to action motivating participants to follow up with you after the event.
Don’t Hard Sell -Hard sells don’t work. The most effective way to increase business is to position yourself as an expert.
Pay close attention to the small details and the big picture. Your presentations will stand apart from the rest.
Alleviate some of the stress before your presentation by taking time to read some inspirational public speaking quotes. >>>>>Read quotes here. Enjoy!
“You can speak well if your tongue can deliver the message of your heart.”
Irish-American Film Director
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