Your next presentation, when done well, can open door for new opportunities and friendships. It could literally change your life and bring great lucks your way.
You really don’t want to blow this opportunity.
Put your best foot forward every time you get a chance to speak!
One of the reasons that many people fear taking the podium is because they are afraid of being the focal point of everyone’s attention and they don’t want to make a fool of themselves.
There are several things you can do to “fool-proof” your speaking event so that you present well every single time!
- Take the time to prepare well for your presentation.
It would be really unrealistic to expect a great presentation with little preparation. Preparation enhances your confidence and it’s also an opportunity to refine any weak areas in your presentation. If you’ve got some experience in the field or about whatever you’ll be speaking on, chances are, you can still deliver a great presentation with little preparation (because all your experiences have been preparing you before now).
“If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. If sovereign and subject are in accord, put division between them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected .”
- Begin and end your presentation on time.
Being late to meetings could hurt your brand. Arriving late to your presentation is simply unprofessional; not to mention that it won’t win you any points with your crowd.
Also speaking over time shows your audience that you don’t value their time.
As a rule we teach in our public speaking school – always aim to finish 5 minutes before the time. Also remember that if Q&A is expected, you need ample time for that.
We kill time. We save time. We rob and get robbed of time, we lose time, and we have all the time in the world. But no one of us is powerful enough to stop the march of time or slow it down.
- Get to know your audience.
The only way you can really relate your message accurately to an audience is if you know who they are. It’s just like in wooing a woman, the more information you have about her, the better your chances at doing the right things and getting her.
So profile your audience!
Are they male or female? What income bracket are they in?
Why would they attend your presentation? What keeps them awake at night?
You are adorable, mademoiselle. I study your feet with the microscope and your soul with the telescope.
- Dress appropriately for your audience.
Not all speaking engagements require a business suit! There are many places where business casual attire has become the norm. Wear what fits the occasion.
Before your audience even hears your message, they are already sizing you up and this is impacting whether or not they are hearing what you have to say!
- Have a backup plan for visual aids used in your presentation.
You’ve selected to use visual aids because you thought they would be helpful in getting your message across.
What happens when laptops fail or the room cannot accommodate presentation equipment?
Create a plan on how you would handle a situation like that.
Personally, I normally put my slides in three places: in a flash drive, on my computer system, on my phone and on Google drive. Okay, that’s actually four places. Call me a pessimist. I just don’t trust Nigerian systems not to fail me.
Have you ever got to an event and network disappeared on your phone? So you can’t even go online to pull some important resources.
Don’t let that happen to you. Come with everything you need.
- Tone down information overload.
Yes, you can overload your audience with too much information and if you’re not careful, you’ll lose them.
They’ll mentally check out. As a speaker, you’ll want to present enough information that hooks them into getting more information from you!
When it comes to public speaking, less is more.
This is why we all need some coaching and training. It’s not always because we don’t know how to speak but sometimes because we don’t know how to keep it brief, keep the audience engaged and keep our message on fire.
Would you like to take our professional classes on public speaking in Lagos Nigeria? Hit here right now!
- Use humor. Appropriate humor!
Humor can be a tricky thing working for you or against you.
You will really have to know your audience in order to use jokes or humor appropriately.
A rule of thumb when it comes to humor is to use self depreciating humors – humor yourself. Everyone loves it when it’s you on the humor. No one gets insulted but you.
Secondly, avoid making humor with sensitive issues such as rape, child abuse, even some aspects of politics.
If you’re not generally funny… well don’t force yourself to be.
A public speaking training can help you prepare yourself for all of this.
“The ability to find humor in the ups and downs of life can give us a new perspective and a new way of viewing our circumstances.” Heidi Catherine Culbertson, Wisdom and Recipes
- Vary your speech tones.
The monotonous speaker will lose their audience within the first 15 minutes.
It’s okay to be animated during your presentation and in fact, doing so will transmit flair and passion that keeps people engaged in your message.
It’s simple though not easy: at certain times in your presentation speak slowly, at another time, speak fast. Then find another time to raise your voice and another time to bring it low.
The idea is to keep your audience awake. And let them feel your heart while you speak.
A public speaking training can help you master this skill.
- Make it about your audience.
People only care about your topic to the extent your topic is about them.
So please, stop making it all about yourself!
Your audience might want to hear a testimony or two, but mostly, they’ll want to hear about them and how your presentation can help them!
“The marks humans leave are too often scars.”
- Solidify your message.
Support your ideas with data and evidence and build a solid case for your viewpoints.
You can use statistics, testimonies, demonstrations, pictures and more!
Your presentation can be fool proof if you take the time to minimize mistakes.
By going through these key points, you can assure yourself that you are well prepared for any challenge that might come your way and you will experience the success you’ve always dreamed of!
Hey, do you find yourself struggling to get all these skills together? You’re not alone. Thousands of people just like you find it hard to do all of these on their own that’s why they enroll into a public speaking school and some even hire a presentation coach.
Won’t you like to have a professional speech coach hold you by the hand in 4 weeks and practically help you to become a more magnetic speaker or presenter?
Click here to learn more about our public speaking school.