How to Deliver an Effective Presentation
You have the opportunity to give a presentation and you are not sure how to start preparing for this event. First, get over the panic and just get started. Once you get the details arranged, the agenda established, and the participants assembled and waiting, what happens next? That’s right; you’re on! President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had some great advice for speakers and presenters: “Be sincere, be brief, and be seated!” I think you also need to prepare from the facts, and communicate from the heart. Everyone dreads bombing at the podium. The fear is understandable; for many leaders, their career advancement can be determined by their ability to speak and inspire an audience. The people you lead are watching, and it can be challenge, especially when you consider that you often have to address the same group week after week. The following are some excellent tips on speaking before an audience:
1.) Know what you are going to say and practice it until you are comfortable
2.) Research your material, and be prepared to answer.
3.) Include anecdotes and personal examples.
4.) Pause and take a breath before beginning.
5.) Don’t read your message; deliver it.
6.) It is almost impossible to talk too loudly, so make sure you use your voice to deliver the full impact of the message.
7.) Maintain eye contact; do not just look at your notes too often.
8.) Sit down when you are finished.
9.) Conviction and passion are powerful allies. If you believe the sincerity will come through.
10.) Be you! Don’t try and force an unnatural style that does not reflect your personality.
11.) Be brief and to the point. Nothing loses the attention of your audience like a speech that runs on and on unnecessarily.
12.) Use language the listeners will understand.
13.) Stay relaxed throughout the meeting.
14.) Lean into the audience when making key points. Your body language speaks louder than words.
15.) Be sure to talk with your team and not at them.
16.) Always expect the unexpected
17.) If you are nervous that’s good. That means you care.
18.) Prepare from the facts, and then communicate from your heart.
19.) Don’t be afraid to show your emotions.
20.) Finally, plan a powerful ending that includes an inspirational challenge.
Follow these tips and I am confident you will give an excellent presentation. If you are still nervous about getting up in front of a group, then I recommend that you join a group where you can practice. The Toastmasters International Organization would be an excellent resource. Remember, your ability to do what you fear most is the beginning of you being the captain of your own destiny.
Make it a great day!
Proud to be an American,
Bryan J. Dodge