Presentations are mostly practiced by students and professionals, and they are a great way to convey ideas as well as educate and convince people. A good presenter has the ability to engage his or her listeners from beginning to end and compel them to take action. Becoming a competent, rather than just confident, speaker requires a lot of practice.
Presentation can be daunting, whether it is your first time speaking in public or your 100th, a lecture at a university study day or a school project, well-prepared or not,.
While it is true that some individuals are definitely born with this gift of speaking, the overwhelming majority of effective speakers have trained themselves to be so. The best way is to gain experience, but there are ways which can help you appear confident.
Here are some tips of public speaking that that you can keep in mind the next time you find yourself presenting before a group.
But here are a few tips you can consider to start sharpening your presentation skills:
- Be Entertaining – Speeches should be entertaining and informative. I’m not saying you should act like a dancing monkey when giving a serious presentation.
- Eye Contact – Match eye contact with everyone in the room. I’ve also heard from salespeople that you shouldn’t focus all your attention on the decision maker since secretaries and assistants in the room may hold persuasive sway over their boss.
- Research – The better prepared you are for your speech or lecture, the better the speech will be. It is better to be over prepared than under.
- When you make a mistake, no one cares but you - Even the most accomplished public speaker will make a mistake at some point. The most important thing a speaker can do after making a mistake is to keep going. Don’t stop and—unless the mistake was truly earth shattering—never apologize to the audience for a minor slip.
- Practice makes perfectly good - Your goal is not to be a perfect public speaker but to be an effective public speaker. Like anything else in life, it takes practice. We too often take communication for granted because we speak to people everyday. But when your prosperity is directly linked to how well you perform in front a group, you need to give the task the same attention as if you were a professional athlete. Remember, even world champion athletes practice every day. Try taking a class where you practice giving speeches.
- Revise - Always read your notes before you arrive at the venue so it is fresh in your mind which will eliminate a total reliance on notes. Also remember that you are the only one who knows EXACTLY what you intend to speak about, so if you miss something out no one else will know.
- Be excited while speaking - Don’t let being anxious or nervous lower your confidence. Embrace it by expressing it as excitement and enthusiasm.