The time has come for the thing you fear the most. You gathered the content, created the presentation, the cards are in your hands and you are in front of the White board. The timer goes off as your heart starts beating super fast. Somehow words seem to escape you and nothing comprehensible comes out of your mouth. Your hands are shaking as you look through your notes to find anything that makes sense. All eyes are on you. It feels as if you can see the future; your report card says good presentation, poor public speaking. Does this seem familiar? The fear of public speaking, also named glossophobia, is the most common phobia in the world. It is observed in approximately 73% of the world population and is more feared than death itself. Imagine that you worked really hard on your presentation; isn’t a complete waste of your time when you fail to deliver your presentation’s message just because of poor public speaking skills. Well, fret no more! Here are some public speaking tips you can refer to in order to deliver the perfect presentation.
- Visualize the confidence
- Know your audience
- Shy away from sharp distractions between yourself and the audience
- Grab the attention
- Smile and make eye contact
- Capitalize on your personality
- Do not read from the slides or your cards
- Use visuals
- Don't appoligize
1. Practice, practice, practice...
A wise person once said: practice makes perfect. Roger Federer didn’t become Federer overnight. That is also true for public speaking. Rehearse your presentation a couple of times until you feel comfortable with the material. You will easily be able to observe your confidence building as you practice more and more. To practice you can use help of a technology. Use tools that gives you a hand with the rehearsal flexibility and features. To give some tips, you can always stand up while presenting, look yourself in the mirror, record your voice or your video and then watch repeatedly. Write a good script by highlighting your key points. This help you to reduce the time you speak. You get good at summarising and improvisation.
For more help, refer to this cool video!
2. Visualize the confidence.
You are probably wondering about how to start a presentation so that it definitely goes well. Did you ever hear the phrase, imagine the audience naked before you present so that you feel more confident? A similar tactic could be visualizing yourself confidently delivering the material. Good tennis players usually say that they imagine themselves holding the trophy before starting the tournament. This tactic makes the prospect of attaining the goal more manageable and realistic, boosting your confidence in the meantime. Did you notice while at the gym a lot of people workout in front of a mirror, not usually see the mistakes they are doing it's actually because seeing ourself on the job and with pumped muscles help us to go further. So yes, visualize yourself like a badass who write checks all the time or the honor student that makes everyone shock.
3. Know your audience.
This does not mean you have to do a background check on your audience members. But notice who you are talking to and adjust the content of the material, as well as the delivery accordingly. Knowing your audience also means that you need to be interacting with them and watching their reactions to the material. For instance, you may notice that this particular audience is not taking sarcasm as well. You can adjust your tone accordingly and appear more professional in your delivery. Not using inappropriate jokes, not using young generation lingo or refering to a taste or experience they might know in the past is a good way to start a presentation.
4. Shy away from sharp distinctions between yourself and the audience.
It is not as if you have the Berlin Wall between you and your audience. In fact, visualize that you are a part of them or that the audience is delivering the presentation with you. It is very likely that they have been in your shoes; everyone makes presentations. They could very well be in your place tomorrow. When you notice this, you will also notice that they may be thinking this way as well. This tip creates empathy between you and your audience.
5. Grab the attention.
Presentations can be mundane, long and uninteresting. You can change that easily by creating variations in your tone, volume and speed. Do not let the audience doze off. Keep them engaged in the material by keeping the presentation interactive. Your presentation templates should help you do that! To grap attention you can use your wisely. By lowering and raising up your voice you can take them to your point again.
6. Smile and make eye contact.
This may very well be the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to public speaking. Smiling and making eye contact with the audience will make you seem more friendly and keep your audience more engaged with your delivery. It shows them that you value their interest and that they should value what you have to say too. Of course it's not okay to smile all-the-time. Don't be a crazy smiling person. Know to control your mimics and gestures while you need to. If you are telling a story about a serial killer it might not be a perfect time to smile.
7. Capitalize on your personality.
Every single person is different and that can be something that keeps presentations interesting. If Mary were to deliver the same presentation as George, both would create drastically different experiences. You can capitalize on that. Say you have a skill for humor. Use that! Make jokes, use sarcasm, play around with your audience. Let your personality shine through your public speaking.
8. Do not read from the slides or your cards.
Maintaining eye contact is especially impossible if you keep reading from the slides or keep looking at your cards. That will make you lose the audience’s attention. Instead try to remember the general gist of every slide and focus on delivering the main message instead of losing time over the details. To work on this issue write your script from bottom to top. Read it multiple time then try to write it again. Use tools like Decktopus to practice your speech with the rehearsal tool then remove all script to see how far you can go with improvisation.
9. Use visuals.
Using visual aids will not only capture the audience’s attention, but also emphasize a point, simplify the content, enhance the content’s credibility. A staggering 65% of the population are visual learners. Keep that in mind while you are trying to choose the appropriate presentation themes and respective presentation designs! A study shows that the aduience prefer one fourth of the content they see consist of text. For this reason choose what will you write on the slides. Leaving hints, keywords on text can help you to remember your words.
10. Don’t apologize.
As famous pop icon Hannah Montana once said: “Everybody makes mistakes”. Do not apologize if you make a mistake. Instead, laugh at yourself so that the audience can do the same. Embrace your delivery with its good and its bad.
Making mistakes is okay; see how we all make mistakes in our previous blog.
These tips may be hard to keep in mind. Thankfully, Decktopus pro gives you access to countless public speaking tip videos taught by a public speaking expert. Just sign up now, start creating a presentation, and find the public speaking tips under “rehearse”> “Tips”. Go to decktopus.com now!
Some articles for inspiration:
- 7 Mistakes We All Made During a Presentation
- Most Interesting Presentation Topic Ideas
- Presentation Template Series 3: Service Proposal
- What Makes for a Good Presentation
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