In today's "information
age" good presentation skills are essential if you want to succeed.
Building rapport with your audience and keeping their interest is the
key. Here are some tips to help you be a sensational speaker, every
1. FORGET ABOUT
There is a tendency
when preparing a speech to focus on what you want to tell the audience,
rather than what they want to hear. Do your research. Find out who is
in the group, what level of experience they have and what they are interested
to hear. A good technique is to arrive early and talk to a number of
the group. Check if what you plan to say is of interest. Find out what
their concerns are.
2. USE LIMITED
OR NO NOTES
What are you thinking
when you see a speaker approaching the lectern adjusting pages of notes?
"Oh no, this is going to be boring!" And they usually are!
Use simple overheads, slides or computer-generated images as your prompt.
You know your material - you don't need to read it. Instead, build rapport
by making eye contact with your audience and speaking to them, rather
than at them.
3. REMEMBER THE
THREE P'S OF GREAT PRESENTATIONS
It is reported that
Winston Churchill, one of the world's greatest speech makers, spent
on average seven hours writing and preparing every 40 minute speech.
The only way to be great is to "Practice, practice, practice."
4. BE FLEXIBLE
There's a cable
missing, or the slide projector is jammed, or the overhead projector has blown
a lamp. A true professional just carries on, using humor to build rapport
with the audience. I promise you they will sympathize as technical problems are everyone
else's worst nightmare too.
5. USE A VARIETY
OF VISUAL AIDES
Even a first rate
presentation can become boring if the same format is used over and over
again. Add variety. Is there a prop you can use? How about a video clip?
What about handing something around the audience or giving a demonstration?
6. USE STORIES
Everyone loves stories.
I'm sure you have examples or real life stories that can illustrate
your point far more effectively than just facts and figures. Develop
a number of stories and use them for impact. A key to using stories
is to be sure that they have a point! They should illustrate, explain
or reinforce what you are saying.
And finally, have
fun! We all take ourselves far too seriously. If you are having fun,
so will your audience - and they will remember you.