Public speaking makes most people really nervous. Just the phrase public speaking makes most people’s hands go clammy. So I thought we could tackle seven different tips for presenting your best self while communicating your message to an audience.
I have seven tips for addressing a crowd so that you can conquer your fear and give the best talk of your life.
Great talks start with tons of preparation, planning, and practice. Don’t procrastinate. Your next successful talk begins the moment you start preparing for it.
Always have a backup plan. What if the projector doesn’t work? What if your laptop goes down? It’s best to have a low-tech backup plan to overcome any last-minute technical hiccups.
Never overload your slideshow with text, and don’t read every single word to your audience. Put big ideas on the slides and use your talk to fill in the details.
Don’t make excuses. Getting up and apologizing for being unprepared, or saying you’re “not so great at this,” only shows that you don’t want to be there. This is a quick way to lose your audience.
Share a genuinely emotional story. Be yourself, and ask your audience to follow you through your emotional journey. This is a surefire way to hook your audience.
Give your audience tangible applications. Whatever you do, make sure you are helping your audience in some way. Solve a problem for them…give them a practical answer.
Respect your audience’s time. Always end just a little early. You’ll probably speak faster in front of your audience than you do while practicing, but make sure you can easily cover your subject in the allotted time—don’t pack your speech with too much information. If you are given twenty minutes, make sure you can cover your topic in fifteen minutes, and save a little time for questions as appropriate.
I think number four is the hardest habit to break. When we are nervous, we tend to make small excuses for ourselves. But, if you can avoid speaking these things out loud, your audience will gain confidence in you and your abilities.
Take Your Talk to the Next Level
Smartlink is all about the visual marketing of your company. We can’t prepare your presentations for you, but we can help you take your business to the next level.