10 presentation tips to make you stand out from the crowd
One comedian made a joke about how it would probably be better being in the casket than delivering the speech in front of everyone. Although there’s not much that can be done to avoid anxiety and the initial fear, you can deliver a better presentation. Below are some top tips to help you stand out from the crowd with your presentation.
1) Show passion
The most important thing about a presentation, or any public speaking in fact, is to connection with your audience. Your audience want to feel your passion and enthusiasm. If you’re excited and motivated by something, the chances are, your overall presence and feelings with rub off on them too. You need to connect with your audience in an honest and exciting way, don’t hold back and be confident and show those people just how much you care.
2) Start Strong
First impressions are everything, a statement we have known for a long time, which still most definitely remains true. The first 2-3 minutes off your presentation are crucial, you need to grab the audience’s attention and hold it for the duration. Most presenters fail on this part because they begin with ramblings which bores the audience and attention is very hard to get back. Start strong, be short and snappy and most importantly interesting and powerful!
3) Smile and make eye contact
Easy peasy right? Wrong. So many presenters fail to do this simple task. A lot of people are so focused on getting their information out, they end up in a type of robotic spiel. Making eye contacting and smiling builds up rapport with your audience, which helps them connect with you and your subject. Eye contact can make you feel less nervous too as you are talking to individuals not a room full of unknown people.
4) Be entertaining
Speeches aren’t meant to be boring, when you think of presentations, you think of motivation, inspiration and a bit of a show. In basics, that’s what you are doing, putting on a show, a professional show. This isn’t an article full of words on paper, people expect emotion, passion and humour. A presentation without these key features won’t hold people’s attention.
5) Tell stories
Everyone loves a good story, it’s how we’re programmed as humans to respond. Stories help the audience pay attention and also help us remember things. Using stories in your presentation means the audience is more likely to engage with you and also remember your points once you’ve concluded. The story element, is split in half, as well as telling stories in your presentation, you want your actual presentation to act as a story in its own right.
6) Use your voice effectively
It’s a common viewpoint that the spoken word is inefficient as a means of communication, but I don’t agree with this. I believe it’s better to have it backed up with visual aids but I don’t think there’s anything more powerful that someone’s true honest voice. It’s like going back to broadcasting basics, you need to vary the speed in which you talk and emphasise change in tone and pitch to make your voice more interesting and to capture the audience’s attention. No-one wants to listen to a robot do they?
7) Body language
To go along with your fantastically interesting voice, you need the correct body language. It’s estimated over three quarters of communication is non-verbal, meaning your body language plays a crucial part to getting your message across. Make sure you are giving the right messages, avoid hands in pockets and crossed arms. Gestures should be open and confident, after all you want to be inviting people to listen to you.
8) Arrive early
There’s nothing worse than not being prepared and not having enough time to do something. Don’t be that person fumbling around with PowerPoint or trying to fix your technical features while people walking in. If you give yourself plenty of time and arrive early, you can get a feel for the room, run through your slideshow and fix any issues. If you are thoroughly prepared, chances are it will make your anxiety slowly disappear.
9) Get practice
Practice makes perfect as we all know… if you practise you’re speaking skills regularly both in front of people and alone, it will only make you more confident. Even practising in front of the mirror, as stupid as it sounds, it can be a really good tool to practice with. Get your friends and family to be the audience, and get feedback, you only have something to gain.
10) Be professional and polite at all times
It is very important to remain professional throughout your presentation. At the end when audience members give feedback, you should listen carefully and act appropriately. Even if the feedback is critical you must thank them for the feedback and keep to the high ground. A true professional remains cool and in control at all times, it’s your reputation on the line, be gracious with even the most challenging of audiences.
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