Need to speak to 5, 50 or 500 people? It is said that most people would rather get a root canal than speak in front of a group. Aarrgghh! With adequate preparation and practice videos from your smart phone or laptop, you can create presentations that make people want to come back for more! We will be covering more tips over the next few weeks. For starters…  

  1. Begin your preparation early.

Start developing your talk sooner, not later. Your thoughts often evolve over time so you will likely want to edit and “tweak” before you go live. The more time you have to prepare, the more confident you’ll be…the more you can watch yourself and have a close confidante also watch (go ahead and send them a short video clip). This also helps not leaning hard on notes or PowerPoint slides.

  1. Research your audience.

Find out everything you can about WHO you will be speaking to. What do your audience members have in common? What are the challenges they face? What is their education level? The more answers you have to who they are, what they are all about and what their need/pain is, the more you’ll be able create a presentation that they will want to hear. The shorter the allotted time, the more “meat” and less “fluff” is critical.

  1. Don’t worry about being original.

When you speak passionately, from your heart, and believe what you say, it doesn’t matter if you’re the first person or 15th to speak about your particular subject. The originality that you provide is your 1) voice and your 2) passion.If it is not your favorite subject, learn why it is so important to those you will be speaking to!!

  1. Keep it simple.

Smaller, shorter chunks of information are easier for audiences to absorb. Again, it’s the meat of the subject that can be turned into valuable bullet points if the time of your presentation is limited.

  1. Make them an offer.

Offer your audience a solution to a problem, a challenge to how they think or act, or an opportunity to learn something new. Create your Presentation around that offer (“Today I’m going to give you 3 tools to eliminate procrastination from your life forever…”). Wow, I’ll listen to that! The audience is all about WIIFM…What’s In It For Me. It is very important to switch the camera from the “selfie” mode to them!

  1. Create a conversation.

Instead of creating a “Presentation,” develop your talk as a conversation between you and the audience. Quickly determine by their attentiveness, facial expression, body language, etc., if they are engaged. Try to determine ahead of time if they are a group involved in fnances (state the facts ma’am, just the facts) or if they are a happy marketing group wanting great human interest (but definitely applicable) stories and some warmth included. It really makes a difference! Watch and respond!!

  1. Involve the audience.

To create that sense of conversation, interact with your audience if possible. Ask them questions (“How many of you would agree with that?”). Give them things to do (“I want you to write this next fact down…”). Being interactive helps retain engagement.

  1. Listen to yourself.

How your Presentation sounds is much more important than how it reads. Create your Presentation for the ear and make sure your body language is speaking the same language. If you are speaking on a product or program where you provide services or items, remember “Only sell what you would be willing to buy yourself!!!!

  1. Rehearse. Revise. Repeat.

Practice your Presentation as much as possible, revise it continuously so that it’s just the perfect Presentation for YOU to deliver.Years ago I noticed excessive eye blinking on camera. Smart phones and laptops are great for eliminating those signals before you are upfront.

  1. Have fun!

Keep the process of creating your Presentation simple and light. If you make the process fun, your Presentation will reflect that. Remember all of the outtakes (bloopers) that you sometimes get to watch after a movie? Well, that’s what practice and rehearsals are for. Go for it!

Contact me if you would like private or group coaching on presentations. Rock it!!

Stay tuned for more tips on reading your audience and what a confident demeanor can do for you! Rita Rocker

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